Review: Gray Hawk Of Terrapin by Moss Whelan

Synopsis

Gray Hawk of Terrapin is a heart-wrenching Y/A fantasy by Moss Whelan that introduces Melanie (Mool) Fraser.

Ever since her father’s death, Mool has been talking with an imaginary green lion named Inberl. When Mool’s mysterious uncle gets sick, she and her mother take the train from Vancouver, Canada to the inner world of Terrapin, where Inberl is arrested because he’s looking for Gray Hawk. Springing into action, Mool sets out to rescue Inberl.

Mool’s know-it-all cousin, Olga, helps track down family friend Parshmander who might know how to save Inberl. They corner Parshmander at home, where they overhear mention of Gray Hawk, but the girls are captured and interrogated. Upon release, Mool feels success when she sees a secret map, finds a hidden bridge and crosses it with Olga. On the other side of the bridge, they find a secret city that keeps Terrapin at war.

Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey laced with evil, chronicling histories of cruelty, kidnapping, and false imprisonment in search of meaning and justice.

Review

This is the kind of book I loved as a teenager. It reminded me a lot of the Philip Pullman or even CS Lewis books which I devoured in my youth.

It is a bit of a slow start but the excitement builds up through the chapters. The characters are well thought out and I found the main character Mool to be very likeable and relatable. I loved the way every day teenage problems were interwoven into the journey of discovery which Mool goes on in this magical world.

The other characters and creatures are certainly interesting and creative. The descriptions in the book made me really feel that I had stepped inside this other world where Terrapin exists. There are quirky turns of phrase and made up words which all add to the author’s highly individual and imaginative style. Actually the style is highly intelligent which was refreshing albeit sometimes complex. I sometimes had to stop and check I had read a sentence properly to get my head around the sense of it. This reminded me of Terry Pratchett novels at times.

The reader is kept guessing throughout the book and I had no idea where the plot was leading me which was pleasing.

Moss Whelan has more than a touch of genius and I’m sure will soon be a household name. He will be up there with the great names in fantasy fiction. There is bound to be a sequel to this and I look forwards to reading other novels by Moss Whelan.

Reviewed by Coralie

Author Bio

Moss Whelan (1968) born in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the Canadian author of Gray Hawk of Terrapin published on January the 12th, 2018. He is an English Literature Bachelor of Arts, a Creative Writing Associate, and possesses a Diploma in Writing for Film, Television, and Interactive Media. He is active in the online Fantasy community and teaches Creative Writing. His work depicts a return to transcendent self-esteem in contrast with world views that shape perceived reality. He received the President’s Award at Douglas College and the M. Sheila O’Connel Undergraduate Prize in Children’s Literature at Simon Fraser University. A survivor of PTSD, he hopes to be a voice for continued access to mental health.

 

Cover Reveal: Covet by Micalea Smeltzer

Covet
Micalea Smeltzer
(Enchanted #2)
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

On the run from the Iniquitous, Mara feels lost and helpless. Without Theo by her side she’s left bare and vulnerable, but she’s a fighter and, with blood boiling in her veins, she vows to avenge him.

The Iniquitous have already taken so much from her, and she refuses to sit back and let them take anything else. She trains harder, preparing herself physically and mentally to take them on. As her magic grows stronger, so does the voice speaking to her from beyond the grave.

She wants to believe it’s real, to give in to what feels right, but if she does, her mind might be lost forever.

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Author Bio:

Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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Review: The Girl Without Magic by Megan O’Russell

The Girl Without Magic
Megan O’Russell
(The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: January 9th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Death would have been easier, but the Siren wasn’t through with her.

Seventeen-year-old Maggie Trent fell out of a battle and into the Siren’s Realm, a land where secrets hide in the shadows and pleasure comes at a price Maggie is unwilling to pay.

The time for the Siren’s reckoning has come, sweeping away all she deems unworthy to live in her realm. Those without magic are hunted by the Siren. Those with magic are hunted by the Stricken. Fighting or hiding seem necessary to survive. But there is a different way.

Bertrand Wayland, unaging and unrelenting in his determination for Maggie to accept her fate, slips in and out through the stitches that bind the Siren’s Realm to other worlds, gaining magic and having glorious adventures. When Maggie follows Bertrand out of the Siren’s Realm, seeking an adventure of her own, she finds instead a world of magic on the eve of war. To save innocent lives Maggie risks her heart, her life, and her only chance of returning to the Siren’s Realm.

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Review

This book was the first review for me of 2018 and what an amazing start to my review year it was!

I have read other works by Megan O’Russell and like those this one did not disappoint.

When Maggie Trent arrived in the Sirens realm I felt she was a meek and naive girl but my was I wrong! This story is action packed and full of Drama as well as a touch of romance.  I’m so excited to see that this isn’t the end of Maggie Trent’s journey and am so looking forward to book to!

The world building is amazingly detailed from the smell of the troll to the grandeur of those rich in magic this book will quickly envelope you in it’s story.

The book tells little of her life before her appearance in the Sirens realm but it gives just enough to build Maggie Trents character and I do hope as the story line develops that we see more of an insight into her past…as well as learning more about Bertrand Wayland!

This is a captivating story with darker undertones that I would happily recommend to anyone!

 

Author Bio:

Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include YA series The Tethering and Girl of Glass, as well as the Christmas romance Nuttycracker Sweet. 2017 projects include The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, and The Chronicles of Maggie Trent: The Girl Without Magic.
For more information on Megan’s books visit MeganORussell.com.

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Blitz: Nox by Randi Cooley Wilson

Nox
Randi Cooley Wilson
(The Royal Protector Academy #3)
Publication date: January 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Love has revived an ancient war
Jealousy has risen and torn lives apart
And one prophecy demands the ultimate sacrifice

What if rewriting your destiny means that you must sacrifice the one you love? Serena St. Michael has forsaken her future—for him. Tristan Gallagher has renounced the throne—for her. The Vergina Sun prophecy has been fulfilled, but at what cost? Their love has renewed an ancient war. With Serena gone, will Tristan save her in time? Or will the dark army of Diablo Fairies descend upon the Royal Protector Academy, destroying the London clan’s legacy and ending the existence of the gargoyle race forever?

Nox is the final novel in the Royal Protector Academy series. This dangerously exciting and darkly romantic conclusion will take your breath away. It can be read as a stand-alone trilogy or after the bestselling Revelation series. Intended for mature readers (18+) due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.

The Royal Protector Academy novels are a serial trilogy meant to be read in order:
Vernal (Book #1)
Aequus (Book #2)
Nox (Book #3)

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Author Bio:

Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and “Covetousness” a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.

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Blitz: Enchant by Micalea Smeltzer

Enchant
Micalea Smeltzer
(The Enchanted Series #1)
Publication date: November 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Mara Pryce never imagined that her life was anything but normal and then a strange gray-eyed young man appears at her graduation. When he vanishes without a trace, she’s convinced he’s a figment of her imagination. Then he appears again and shatters her whole world.

Mara is an enchanter, part of an ancient line of Wiccan power, and a war is raging—one of good and evil—between the Enchanted and the Iniquitous.

The Iniquitous want her dead and it’s Theodore’s job as her protector to keep her safe.

When Mara and Theodore arrive at a safe house, where Mara will remain hidden while learning about her powers, they find that the real threat might be a little closer to home than they want to believe.

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Author Bio:

Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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Review: The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah Oomerbhoy

The Rise of the Dawnstar
Farah Oomerbhoy
(The Avalonia Chronicles #2)
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Aurora Firedrake returns in the spellbinding sequel to The Last of the Firedrakes.

The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world.

With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen.

Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…

Review

 

Wow! Just Wow!!

From the very first page I was in awe of this authors world building ability! She really brought the realm of Avalonia alive for me! I could see it, hear it, smell it and feel it! Having not read the first book in this series I was not expecting it at all.  The author really has shown amazing talent through her descriptions of the world around Aurora.

I loved the twists and turns in the plot throughout it really kept the pace up and didn’t give the reader time to bore of the story line! There is a bit for everyone, betrayal, disappointments, romance and battles! Seriously what is not to love!

I really enjoyed the writers ability to pull me into her story and it is testament to her talent that I could feel fully involved in the story without having read the first book!

 

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Author Bio:

Farah Oomerbhoy is the international bestselling author of The Avalonia Chronicles. Her first book, The Last of the Firedrakes, was originally published on Wattpad where it gained nearly two million reads and a Watty Award. Since publication, her debut has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, along with winning a finalist placement in the USA Best Book Awards. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. With a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai, Farah spends her creative time crafting magical worlds for young adults. She lives with her family in Mumbai, India.

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Review: The Blood Print by Ausma Khan

This debut fantasy series from the brilliant Ausma Khan is quickly becoming an anticipated read (this was echoed by loud mouths and EW) and was already included in Bookriot’s list of 5 Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels with Badass Heroines.

Synopsis

 

A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman’s spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding a copy of The Bloodprint promises to be their most dangerous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal ex-slave and Arian’s former confidante and sword master—both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.

Review

The Bloodprint is the first book in this high fantasy series called Khorasan Archives. But although it is quite obviously a Fantasy the underlying religious and political themes are definitely worries that concern us in contemporary society which makes it easy to relate to even for the non-fantasy reader.

The book is so well written and is the tale of two strong women against the world.  These women are tasked with freeing enslaved women who have been captured by The Talisman which is no easy task!

I found the book impossible to put down which is totally down to the skill of the writer to draw you in by using the journey these two women take there is a lot to take in and yet I didn’t get lost or bored with the journey!

I love how the first book has created more questions for me than it answered as it makes me anticipate book number two all the more!

Disclosure: The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own

Blitz: Fallen Halos by Erin Hayes & Rebecca Hamilton

Fallen Halos
Erin Hayes & Rebecca Hamilton
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Haunted. Cursed. Helpless. Life is dangerous this close to the Door to Hell.

Half insane after the death of his wife and daughter, Rahym runs a lodge near the Door to Hell. With a sector curse that causes anyone to collapse into Hibernation after four hours of exertion, a stay at the lodge is the only way for people to cross the Karakum Desert without falling victim to fire or demonlings.

Then Nakir, an old friend and the angel leading the rebel group known as Halos, appears with a plan to break the curse. He’s brought Rahym’s childhood love Jennet whose special witch powers may be to be the tipping point the resistance needs to win.

But first, they’ll have to brave Hell itself.

They just need Rahym to show them the way. He’ll have to decide if he’s willing to risk his life for a cause he once believed in. Or if there’s even enough left of the world worth saving.

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EXCERPT:

“Rahym? Rahym Tezel? Is that you?”

I still, recognizing the voice. A million and one memories seem to physically hit me, sucking the air out of my lungs.

“Yes, it’s me,” I say warily. “Who are you?”

Please don’t let it be him. Please don’t… both my subconscious and I chant.

I really don’t want to deal with that asshole right now. Or ever again, for that matter.

I get my answer. One of the hooded riders dismounts, landing in the sand. He lifts the hood back and looks at me, his emerald green eyes glowing with unearthly power. The sharp planes of his face are exaggerated by the light from the Door as he gives me a lopsided smile.

Goddammit.

“Nakir,” I say, with a false sense of bravado, and I wish I were seeing him under different circumstances. I’ “What are you doing here?”

The smile grows, as a second rider swings a leg over the side of their horse. The rider strides up next to the asshole that I blame for the shattered remains of my life. This much closer, I can see that it’s a woman, although she doesn’t lift her hood, so I can’t see her face.

“We’re on the road, Rahym,” Nakir says, drawing my attention back to him. “And we need your help.”

My help?” I ask.

He nods.

“I’m flattered, but I don’t do that anymore. People tend to die around you.”

To my surprise, the woman next to Nakir chuckles mirthlessly. She may be crazier than I am. Not a good sign.

Nakir smirks. “Dying. Right. That’s exactly why we need you, Rahym.”

“Why?”

Nakir exchanges a glance with the woman. She pulls back her hood, and from the depths of my memory, I recall her.

Shit.

Well, this night has taken an unexpected turn.

“Jennet,” I say, calling out her name. It’s been years, and the last time I saw her, we were teenagers, but the curve of her lips tells me that I identified her correctly. A new sort of horror overtakes me; what is Jennet doing with Nakir?

“Hello, Rahym,” she says in a clear voice. “We’re going to lift the curse. And we need you to lead us through the Door to Hell.”

 

Author Bio:

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she’s an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Social Media:
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Street Team / Newsletter

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and WALL STREET JOURNAL bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton lives in Georgia with her husband and four kids, all of whom inspire her writing. Somewhere in between using magic to disappear booboos and sorcery to heal emotional wounds, she takes to her fictional worlds to see what perilous situations her characters will find themselves in next. Represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA, Rebecca has been published internationally, in three languages.

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Review: Design of The Spirit by H.R. Moore

Synopsis

The Temples have gone. The energy has plummeted. The world is in chaos.

In the wake of the biggest disaster the world has ever seen, the Rebels seize control. They prepare to put in place a new political system, overthrowing both the Descendants and the Gods.

But with the Relic missing, and no hope of energy stability without it, Anita and the Institution venture into the Wild to find the mysterious Magnei. Can the Magnei give them the answers they seek? Will Anita find out what happened to Alexander? And will they finally find a way to return the Relic, and free their energy from the influence of the Gods?

Praise

“Is HR Moore the new JK Rowling?” (The Resident Magazine) 

Praise for Legacy of the Mind: 

‘Finally a book that bridges the gap between the romance of Twilight and the action of the Hunger Games!’ 

‘Fast paced and a real page turner, with the right mix of action and a touch of romance…’ 

‘Drama, excitement, vivid scene settings with plot twists…This story has it all!’ 

‘Fantastic characters and an all consuming story.’ 

 

Review

I didn’t think H.R Moore could do it but this book is even better than the first two! If you haven’t seen my reviews on the other two books in this trilogy you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The author has produced another all consuming story that I read in just one day! My life was put on hold and I could not leave this compelling story alone until it was finished and what a finish!!

The author has an amazing ability to create intertwining story lines without losing the reader.  Watch out for some awesome twists in this final story you really can’t see them coming in the other two books.

It loses none of the pace of the last two books, in fact it heats up dramatically. There is drama and action from the outset and all looks lost when the heroine feels she has lost her partner or was he ever hers? The story continues to focus not just on the political undertone but also on the love triangle that is central (but not all consuming) to the story.

I love that this book offers more background to other characters in the book aside from Anita, Alex and Marcus and it really adds an extra depth to the story; some of the back stories make this story and the author has very cleverly built the suspense using these back stories to bring you to a dramatic climax!

This truly is an incredible story and I am so glad that I came across this trilogy and  encourage you to give it a try as well. You will not be disappointed this is a hidden gem and I can’t wait to see what else comes from this author in the future.

Nat

 

 

 

Review: No Rest for The Wicked by Dane Cobain

Synopsis

When the Angels attack, there’s NO REST FOR THE WICKED.

Father Montgomery, an elderly priest with a secret past, begins to investigate after his parishioners come under attack, and with the help of Jones, a young businessman with an estranged child, Montgomery begins to track down the origin of the Angels.

The Angels are naked and androgynous. They speak in a dreadful harmony with no clear leader. These aren’t biblical cherubs tasked with the protection of the righteous – these are deadly creatures of light that have the power to completely eradicate.
When Jones himself is attacked, Father Montgomery knows he has to act fast. He speaks to the Angels and organises a final showdown where he’s asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Review

This is not my usual genre of choice but this quirky novella is worth a read if you are looking for something a bit different and something short.

I liked the concise chapters and some of the sub plots although I did think some threads of the story were unnecessary due to the short length of the novella.

I wasn’t thrilled with the plot of the story but it did get me thinking about what we perceive as good and evil and how things aren’t always so black and white. The juxtaposition of science and religion could have worked well but I just found it a bit unbelievable.

Having read some of Cobain’s poetry I was expecting a commentary on social and political issues and wasn’t disappointed. The novella highlighted many issues such as depression, stress and alcoholism to name but a few. One could look even further into the subtext and relate the Angels to modern day terrorists.

The story raises interesting points about morals and judgements of other people and that none of us are without “sin” and should perhaps look to see things from others’ viewpoints and try putting ourselves in their shoes.

In fact, at the very end the main character, who the Angels consider to have a huge amount of sin, shows that even a person with great sin can make huge sacrifice for the greater good. It also shows that every day people do great deeds and don’t get any recognition for it.

All in all I found the book thought provoking even though I didn’t find the story particularly convincing.

Disclosure:  The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own.