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Book review: Liana Gardner – The Journal of Angela Ashby (@lkgg )

Angela Ashby had been looking forward to attending the school carnival with her reviewmother, but since the divorce she is working more, and Angela hardly gets to see her, or her father who left and married Holly the homewrecker. Luckily Angela has a close friend, Mallory. The two of them enjoyed the carnival together, savouring the moment until their wandering put them in front of a rather unusual tent, one belonging to a fortune teller. She gives each of the girls a reading and a gift, and Angela’s gift has power beyond measure, anything she writes in it comes to pass. With a school struggling with a bulling problem, her parent’s divorce, and so many changes she wants, Angela decides to use the journal. But actions have consequences, and even the most innocent thing can have profound effects.

The Journal of Angela Ashby is a middle grade fiction by Liana Gardner and is perfectly written for the target audience. A combination of magic, childhood troubles, social messages, and the need to think before acting is prevalent, and a lesson well ingrained into the pages, There is some good tension building, injections of humour, and character development. Angela and Mallory make a great team, perfectly complimenting each other in a way close friends do. This is certainly a book I will read with my son when he is older, as I think it instils some important lessons and values, much like the old 80/90’s cartoons used to. While the book itself has a clear beginning and end, there are hints a sequel may follow, and it would certainly be something I would consider picking up. If you’re looking for a story of friendship, childhood problems, and a healthy sprinkle of magic in the every day life, then look no further.

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Book review: A. M. Sohma – The Desperate Quest

Kit had not logged into Chronicles of Retha since her old guild, Milk Crown, was reviewdisbanded. Her cousin Bruce, as a joke hacked her account, creating the most ridiculous character, a dancer elf, and ensured her reputation was hated and shunned by all factions. It may have been funny, if not for a corruption error that occurred on the server trapping her and hundreds of others in game. She has been told of a means to log out, the completion if an epic world storyline, but with her ridiculous appearance no one will take her seriously. She and her group fight against the odds, trying to complete the quest and get others to believe them for when they are ready. This world event is epic, no one on this server has completed it, and without the support of others it seems she herself has little chance. Bad stats, bad reputation, and impossible odds, but she had never been one to take the easy path, and now is no exception.

The Desperate Quest is book two in Second Age of Retha by A. M. Sohma. It is only now, as I added this, that I realised this was actually the second book otherwise I would have started with the first. The fact that I didn’t feel I had missed anything is a testament to the author’s skill to create self-contained storylines. Kit makes a brilliant party leader and how refreshing it is for a LitRPG’s main character to be a support character rather than a tank or DPS. This was a really fun story to follow, the epic quest for the seals alongside the characters own development and rising tension as time trapped in the game extends. From exploration to battle this book has a lot to offer, it is well paced, enjoyable, and unique. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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Book review: Alexa Padgett – Sweet Solace (@AlexaPadgett )

Dahlia had been with her husband Doug for what had seemed liked forever, committed reviewto the vows she made to the musician as a teenager. Even if he didn’t take them as seriously. He had betrayed her trust, hurt her, destroyed her in ways she didn’t think possible, and that was before his diagnosis, things had only got worse after. His death had opened more wounds, despite everything she had loved him, once. When her path crosses with Asher’s, an old crush and famous rock star, she begins to feel things she thought were long lost in her. But she never thought her feelings had been, and still were, reciprocated. The problem is, neither of  them are in a place where they feel they can pursue a relationship. After Doug, Dahlia swore to never love, especially not a musician, she knew all too well the price she paid, and she couldn’t do it again. Will she pass up her chance of happiness because of the fears and betrayal of her husband, or will she take the risk, will she give love one final chance?

Sweet Solace (Seattle Sound Series Book 1) is a slow burn romance by Alexa Padgett who is certainly an expert in their craft. I was hung on every word, loving the steady pace and involved plot of the lives of Asher and Dahlia as they are brought together, both with their own complications. I loved the slow change in Dahlia’s character as she began to reclaim who she had once been before things had turned sour with Doug. There is plenty to enjoy, and the erotic scenes were well scripted perfectly attuned to the book without becoming over the top, they were no more or less than was needed. I can honestly day it has been a long time since I have enjoyed a book in the romance genre as much as I enjoyed Sweet Solace I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, and I can certainly see myself picking up some of the other books from the talented Alexa Padgett It has everything you could ask for, passion, doubts, insecurity, longing, and the fears that come with someone already deeply hurt. and more.

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Book review: Murderous Intent by John L. Evans

Dimitri Kosloff, a famous film director, had been found stabbed and dismembered at his reviewusual Friday and Saturday night suite. He was as well known for his sexual preferences as he was for his Academy Awards, so his murder caused quite a stir. The evidence is circumstantial but points towards a young sailor, Richard Dellesandro, who was the last person seen alive with him as he accompanied the director to his room. With such a high profile case, it is essential to make quick work of it, but not everyone thinks Dellesandro is their man. However, with nothing to place their other possible suspect at the scenes, can justice be done and the truth be uncovered, or will someone get away with murder?

Murderous Intent is a murder/crime mystery set in Los Angeles, and focusing on the more famous aspects, such as Hollywood. John L. Evans writes with a good poise for the genre and it is easy to lose yourself in this book and read it in a single sitting. There are so many important events that occur and you wonder whether the Los Angeles Police, who are reluctant to drop the case, will be able to not only get their perp, but prove their involvement, or is it simply too high exposure to continue when a fall guy has already been found? The hunt is on, secrets are uncovered, lies are exposed, and red tape threatens the investigation at every turn. Speaking of every turn, you’ll find yourself turning the pages eagerly, gripped and engrossed by not only the intricately woven plot, but the immersive style with which the author engages you.

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Book review: Francis Halpin – The Seventh Guard

Robert was a repair technician at Best Buy, one who had hung on to his job solely reviewbecause he was so good at repairing things, his social skills, however, were indeed lacking, to the point he was banned from customer interaction. After work he conducted his own experiments, determined to break reality by discovering a hidden glitch. Then he saw it, or more accurately the program he created did, small breaks in the physical laws of our world. It was a message, of that he was certain, but he had no idea how dangerous breaking this encryption would be, his entire perspective on the world, on what was possible, was about to change. If Jennifer’s step-father wasn’t dangerous enough, he was about to discover a new enemy, one who was more powerful than he could ever imagine, one who would stop at nothing to see his demise.

The Seventh Guard by Francis Halpin is an intriguing Science Fiction focusing on the main character Robert as he tries to unravel his destiny. It all started with a flickering light, a cryptic clue he felt he must interpret. It is written at a steady pace with a narrative written with such style you keep turning the pages. You can’t help but be drawn into Robert’s plight, wondering if there is a greater destiny afoot, or if the flickering light is simply unlocking something in, what his girlfriend described as, his ‘on the spectrum’ personality. Robert is a strong lead character supported by David and Jennifer, in their supporting roles which help to build a fuller picture of him, his life, and the world around him. Intrigue, a quest for truth, and hidden mysteries fill the book to the brim, and leave you wondering what the ultimate conclusion will be.

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book review: S.L. Rowland – Pangea Online: Death and Axes (@HerroSteven )

Esil only knew life in the boxes and the mine. Data mining was the way the poor earned reviewa roof over their head, someone had to do it, and it kept them fed and housed. He slaves away beside Buzz, a friend in the same situation living with his dying mother. There was a cure, but it cost more than a miner could dream of seeing. Then came the competition. The prize money would cover her treatment, but the likes of them had no chance of entering. They couldn’t explore worlds, they could only mine. That was, until Esil struck it lucky. With one swing of his axe he uncovers something never heard of in the mines, a developers chest,, and it gives him just the opportunity to see the worlds and maybe even save Buzz’s mum. Join him as he embarks on the ultimate quest.

Pangea Online: Death and Axes by S.L. Rowland is a gripping edition to the litrpg genre. There is a great balance of game mechanics, character development, worlds building and plots. It is a fun read that will keep you entertained, from quests to the competition events. It guarantees to please. With action, adventure, secrets, danger, and high stakes, lovers of this genre and bound to enjoy this well written with style and flair. I will certainly be adding book two to my future to read list.

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book review: Nicholas Rem – Exodus in Blush (@thewritingremmy )

It had only been four years since the Hummingbird’s last slaughter, and now rumours of reviewhis return are circling, cutting through the communities just as his own Blush does through those he wishes to destroy. There was another rumour too, one that states the Hummingbird mutated a select few, turning them into Cardinals, but this is not a rumour everyone agrees with. Just as ‘the truth’ is to be revealed news spreads of the Hummingbird’s return, a return marked by a massacre. Davlacé had been almost peaceful, until the accusation of the Cardinal origin emerges, then one turns rouge massacring all in his path, and starting a change in the people’s view on these gifted ones, that, in line with the Hummingbird return spells trouble, and people will need to unite, even if their short-term objectives differ, they need to uncover the truth, and it may not be what it seems.

Exodus in Blush is Nicholas Rem’s epic fantasy, perhaps with a touch of anime inspiration. It is filled with manipulation, questions, subplots as well as world and character building. It is easy to lose yourself in the world created, where detail is paid to things from commerce to social status and fickle minded opinions. Colourful writing with vivid details help you envision every scene as they unfold and you’ll find yourself eager to unravel the truth behind everything. There are characters you’ll love, motives you’ll question, surprising twists, and enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages. There are many layers and much depth to the book making it bound to satisfy lovers of the genre.

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Book review: C.M. Carney -The Barrow King

Finn had been swept away into a world of military, following in his father’s steps, his one reviewrelief was he believed his sister had avoided becoming one of the colonel’s minions. He had been wrong. She had infiltrated and become trusted by some very powerful people, and during this time discovered something which cost her dearly. The game world, the Realms, was not a game at all, and Alistair had exploited the system to conquer and become a god. Brynn too had ascended, but lost everything she was in the process, forever trapped. Her only hope was Finn, entering the game and rescuing her mind. She rigged the system to aid him, sent allies who would be beside him in the starter of town of… Error. Damn that wasn’t right. Where was his aid, where was his starting town? Finn is alone in The Barrows, no help, no allies, and something old has awakened, and it can taste the rare item Finn has in his possession. The Barrows were feared, a sentient dungeon, can he use his instincts to survive, escape, and save his sister, or will he become another rotting corpse upon the dark tunnels if this twisted warren?

The Barrow King is a litRpg by C.M. Carney. If you’re the type of reader who favours a more system orientated read with in depth skill descriptions then this will certainly tick that box. Of all the litRPGs one read to date this one spends a good portion with the ‘in game’ pop-ups, they help the character make skill choices and guide his path. The Barrow is a sentient dungeon, so whilst there is other things occurring, side quests, potential allies, etc, it focuses mainly on the dungeon aspect as Finn, in game name Gryph, works his way through hoping to find am exit, his enemy, and tries to find his sister. He encounters unlikely allies, new enemies, and even help from unexpected sources.

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Book review: Michael Lee Kirk- Digger Day (Jaden Crusoe Book1)

Diggers were spread across many of the worlds, it was a capital offence to kill one reviewoutside the sanctioned hunts. Hunts designed to give people hope of obtaining a vaccination to suppress the Chira Plague. The odds of success were one in one-hundred and thirty two. It was for this reason criminals were sent on the hunts and mostly, the Forest Planet had to order in hunters. That was until a tragedy gave the town the perfect excuse to be rid of a pair of troublemakers. This is the tale of one of those boys, Jaden Crusoe, a tale never heard in its entirety until such a time the truth had to be known. Jaden was well known and respected for joining the thirteen worlds, but his story tells a different tale, of a boy, courage, and circumstances.

A gripping, atmospheric, action-packed read is what you’ll get if you pick up Michael Lee Kirk’s Digger Day (Jaden Crusoe Book 1). From the onset the stakes are high, the impending doom of all against a foe who cannot be destroyed, but to understand how this comes to be, you must first learn the truth of what really happened, therein lies the first adventure. The book follows the story of a number of characters, with a bold font highlighting important names in a person’s story arc to make it clear whose tale you will be following. Well written with clear attention to details in not only the world building, but character development as well. A futuristic world with classes, cliques, technologies, traditions along with their own problems and strife, not to mention the overall setting and benefits and problems with the Collective. It is clear a lot of work went in to making this a tight, well-written and engrossing read, further enhanced by beautiful pictures with the chapter headers.

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Book review: TK Rising – Pink House (@etkrising )

Daniel had two parts to him, there was the boy everyone saw, and then another part of reviewhim, a part he shoved away and disassociated himself with for so long. That part of him was a murderer, and it was with that part of him the thing that came tearing into his closet one night resonated with. Its name was Phearus, it had been damaged, its memories were unclear, and it was hunting the worst of man to feed to the thing hunting it through the tear. Just as Daniel resonated with it, it in turn became part if him, and in time Daniel sought to feed that lost part of him, drawing him closer to Phearus who has long been absent from the cupboard in the pink house. Just as Phearus is starting to think of Daniel as his son, he was torn from 1981 into the future of another dimension, and he will do whatever it takes to get back to him before history says he disappeared.

Fictional historical meets futuristic sci-fi all rolled into the timeline of a single being, that is precisely what you’ll get if you pick up TK Rising’s Pink House. Gods, turf wars, human meddling, primitive natures, and of course, the hunt. The book follows two main plotlines, the first of Daniel, a boy turned serial killer, and the second of Phearus Elconn, son of Godriel Elconn and heir to the greatest house on Alta. There are some tense situations, and times where you really don’t know who to root for. This character-driven plot will push you to the edge of your seat with some of the atmospheric and gripping scenes you’ll encounter. Horror, time travel, gods, and mortals all wrapped in a tightly woven story filled with its own unique complexities. It is the  third book of the Blue Star series but information about the multi-verses, territory control and events are explained at the front to allow to the reader to simply pick up the book and enjoy.

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