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Book review: Anthea Sharp’s Spark: Feyguard Book 1

Spark Jaxley was a professional gamer, and boy did she draw in the crowds. With the reviewupcoming release of FullD and the awesome game Feyland, her schedule was more hectic than ever. The last thing she needed was to cross paths with a Hacker, intent of finding the cheats and selling them before the game was released. Feyland had a secret, it was interfaced with the real land of the fey. So strong was the foundation of the game that it had once drawn beings form that realm through, and a crack remained, with one perfect exploit the barrier separating the game world and the Dark Court could be torn asunder, and who better to find such a cheat than a hacker? Aran did not know what he was getting himself into, and Spark’s attachment to the gaming world goes deeper than any would imagine, she is part of the Feyguard, an elite force of seven charged with returning those mortals who stray to far into the game and end up in a place they should not tread, and now she must risk her life to pull him back to their world, before the fey can utilise his skills to their advantage.

This is a brilliant read. Whilst it is book one in the series Anthea Sharp does an excellent job in creating epic events that preceding the story, without having to actually recap. A nice touch which adds depth and reality to the characters. As a gamer myself I loved in in game applications, the skills, and abilities possessed within Feyland. There had clearly gone a lot of thought into how best to write parts of a game as a book, something which if often lost in transition, but not here. As a reader you will find yourself turning page after page watching the growing relationships, the friendships, companionships, even the adversaries, all developing and escalating. Spark is a brilliant female lead, and is well supported by Aran as a secondary character. Great storytelling, with a fun enjoyable plot.

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Book review: Robert E Kreig’s The Huntress of Woodmyst, (@robertekreig )

Alice was the very image of her father, from her looks, to her heart. She had even taken reviewhis old sword and learnt from the blacksmith in order to melt it down and make something more suitable for her to wield. Recently her thoughts had turned to concern, her home was expanding, the forest was shrinking, and soon she worried the trees would be gone. There was one tree, however, she would protect, the one standing in the place the Great Hall had been. It was here she felt closest to her father. Even though she had yet to turn thirteen she possessed exceptional skills, and the more people begin to notice her difference the more they begin to fear. Some fed this fear, while others attempted to assure them that her heart is for her people. Some amongst Woodmyst respected her more than any member of their council. But it was impossible to hide the animosity, they wanted her dead, but would settle for exile given that she was likely to leave without any persuasion. Little did they know an ancient enemy had returned, and Alice is their best, perhaps only, hope of survival. Even if her skills do surpass their own army, can a young girl really protect them from what is coming? Find out in Robert E Kreig’s The Huntress of Woodmyst, The Woodmyst Chronicles: Book V.

From her kinship with animals to her skills with hunting, forging, and leather making Alice will not fail to surprise you. I loved her character, and found her skills and development enjoyable to witness. Robert E Kreig writes an action packed adventure, filled to the brim with conflict, battle, survival, and surprising allies. The Huntress of Woodmyst is book five in The Woodmyst Chronicles, and yet it flowed seamlessly, and at no point did I feel the need to have read the other books to understand events. There’s a good sense of world building, complete with feuds, legends, and myths, and a very realistic cast of characters who act and respond appropriately. Their attitudes and actions serve to add depth, and whilst you’ll find yourself frustrated with choices made you’ll also understand them. This character-driven story will keep you on the edge of your seat as Alice faces overwhelming odds.

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Book review: Darren Hultberg Jr’s Realmbound

Dark, terrifying, horned demons emerged the world over on the day the world ended. But these seemingly reviewinvulnerable creatures were different to the other monsters that appeared, they didn’t hunt just any running flesh, they hunted those of power, politicians, figureheads, leaders, so why had one pursued Rian. He was nothing special, an eighteen year old grocery store clerk with no idea what he was going to do with his life. With some help he managed to escape, but when he awoke he no longer recognised his home. Six months had passed, and the world was in ruin. Those who survived did so in groups, finding a new place in this strange world. Reunited with his roommate and best friend, Angelo, Rian discovers what had befell the world, but he also brought danger to their door. Rian Asher no longer needs to ask what to do with his life, he is already being guided to his destiny. He is the last hope, the one who will stand against the beasts in an attempt to drive the evil forces back.

Well paced and carefully considered in order to weave a well designed plot. As a gamer there were certain parts of this that really appealed to me, and I enjoyed how the truth behind things are implied before being told allowing me to piece together the information given to create my own conclusions into the How’s and whys of things before the truth is revealed. A fun read for fans tasty lovers and gamers alike.

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Book review : C. A. Pack’s Fourth Chronicles of Illumination

The Library of Illumination is in danger. Knowledge is power, and with each one having reviewtheir own diversity there is a danger of one becoming supreme. Why should they not all be the same when uniformity would answer questions with one decisive stroke, and how can this uniformity be brought about? The answer is simple, to destroy them all but one . And someone plans to do just that. War is coming, a war that will decide the fate and wisdom allowed to be retained in all the realms, and it falls to Johanna to intervene, but she has her own problems, whisked away and imprisoned by the Terrorians she must first find a way to free herself and her unexpected allies. Will the realms lose all they fought to protect, or can those on the side of wisdom and freedom of information prevail against astounding odds? Find out in C. A. Pack’s Fourth Chronicles of Illumination, The Third Book of the Knowledge is Power Trilogy (Library of Illumination 9) .

Within the pages of Fourth Chronicles of Illumination you will find an enormous universe filled with different species, cultures, understandings, technology, advancements, and beliefs. Certainly an impressive undertaking which C.A. Pack does not shy away from. The complex design of the work is a testament to the sheer amount of time and consideration that would have gone in to its production. Wars and battles, alliances and prejudices, this book has everything you would find in the real world, but on a monumental scale. Good and bad, it is there for you to discover. As the third book in the Knowledge is Power Trilogy, during the first part I felt I would have benefitted from have read the preceding books, the plot does come into its own to a level you can almost forget others came before it. Some of the characters have a very distinctive style of dialogue, some of which would draw similarities to popular movies in the science fiction genre, but whilst dialect is similar, the individual characters are in themselves unique. This is a massive adventure, with lots to be take in, possibly the kind of book you’d want to read more than once to get a full appreciation for everything that happens. Characters develop nicely and relationships change, as would be expected. This book was a good read, and I am curious to know all the details that led to the current predicament. If you like science fiction which has some great depth then you’ll find Fourth Chronicles of Illumination has a lot to offer.

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Book review: Shadowfest by D.J. Reid

An old woman was seen fleeing the scene following the murder of a temple guard, and reviewsoon fingers are pointing towards Brona, the old apothecary. There is a great divide between those who can wield magic, and those who cannot, and the murder has caused great unrest, especially given the approach of Shadowfest. The timing of  this murder  seems a little suspect, and whispers of the return of a long dead killer echo through the silent corridors. But it has been a long time since evil forces breached the wall, but when the view between worlds is attacked its thinnest anything can happen, especially if it is all in the design of a being seeking their own darkest desires. Join the adventure in D.J. Reid’s Shadowfest, and see if agendas can be set aside in order to prevent the worst possible outcome.

Shadowfest is written in alternating first person and third person perspectives focusing on the characters central to the plot, clear headings make it easy to follow whose perspective you are reading, and with subtle differences in style between each one you really start to get a feel for the individual personalities of the characters. As a tale of magic and betrayal with some good attention to culture, world building, and magical application D.J. Reid  crafts a book that will appeal to fantasy fans. There is some beautiful descriptive, scene setting writing in places that really give you a feel for what is occurring and the environment. The steady pace gains a steady momentum, and in a story with dark forces, prejudices, suspicion and dark happenings afoot this servers to draw the reader deeper into the finely woven tale.

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Book review: Power’s Wrath by Stephen Shortall

The King’s assassination had marked a change for the remote kingdom of Screenia. The reviewQueen had been childless, and there were many who thought the throne should pass to them. The King had been assassinated by an Unknown. The strange creature had been witnessed but all attempts to stop it had failed. The King had been content with his lands, but there were those who wanted to march South and reclaim the lands that were once theirs. Not everyone thought this way, and now there was cause to peruse these ventures. Calthus Calstone was gadal to the King, a respected advisor, but time had not been kind to his aging body which now disguised a man who had once been thought of as a hero. The inscriptions left on the former king’s chest bore some importance. Locked away in the prison of his mind he knew of their relevance but he could not pull the meaning from his mind, but he knew it meant they must go South, only there would answers be found, but perhaps they were asking the wrong questions. Join the adventure in Stephen’s Shortall’s Power’s Wrath.

Power’s Wrath: Book One of the Hourglass Series by Stephen Shortall is a fine example of epic fantasy. Conflict, deceit, schemes, and politics mesh to form a kingdom on the verge of war, but there is something bigger afoot. Stephen Shortall possesses a wonderful descriptive voice that allows the reader to clearly visualise the vivid scenes and complex characters. A large cast is easily handled with no two characters being the same, each is unique driven by their own desires and motivations. Growth and development of key characters run parallel, if not central to the finely designed tale. This is one book you won’t want to put down. With such a rich and vibrant environment and magnificent world building it can seem as real, if not more so than your everyday existence. Action-packed, riveting, and immersive, Power’s Wraith was a truly amazing read, and a strong first book in what looks to be a very interesting and exciting series.

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Book review: Seventh Dimension – The Prescience by Lorilyn Roberts (@LorilynRoberts )

Seventh Dimension – The Prescience is a religious fantasy fiction by Lorilyn reviewRoberts. Shale and Daniel are caught amidst a bombing in Jerusalem. Using one of her unique skills Shale is led to help a newly orphaned child from beside her dead parents. The dog that brought Shale to the child said they were the ones God had called to look after the child, but at 18 they were little more than children themselves, despite their experiences. Trapped in Jerusalem they decide it is safer to head back to the first century where they had met, at least there they had a chance of discovering what was going on, and what was expected from them. The Antichrist will soon rise to power, and for some reason, demons have an interest in the child they had rescued.

A believable setting is enhanced by snippets of realism, such as people’s limitations. My favourite example being that a person who had studied a language couldn’t fluently understand the native speakers, and this is just one such example of attention to real life details. Seventh Dimension – The Prescience is a very religion oriented book, yet there are some original and interesting interpretations on ideas often used in such literature. As a reader you are rewarded with subtle intricacies which add alternative perspectives and interesting ideas. Good versus evil in the most primal sense. Angels of good against angels of evil, each attempting to turn the tide in their favour. The chapters are short and concise, making it easy to pick up and put down, that is if you can tear yourself away from the adventure. I read Lorilyn Roberts’ book in a single sitting, finding it engaging, action-packed, and fascinating. The main protagonists, Daniel and Shale, show growth individually and as a couple as they face the challenges before them with faith and unity trying to solve not only the mystery being the disappearance of Daniel’s father, but the meaning behind everything happening, and how it is connected. A great read, and easy to lose yourself in.

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Book review: Crossroads and the Dominion of Four by C. Toni Graham (@ctonigraham )

In a desperate attempt to stop Brigara—a powerful druid cast out from the reviewOtherworld—from returning to the mortal realm through a portal the four teen heroes, Jake, Shayna, Conner and Senegal, known as the Dominion of Four had taken drastic measures, sealing the portal between the worlds to keep Brigara trapped within the mortal realm. There was, however, a drawback. The price of sealing her had meant they too were trapped in a world that was not their own. But these four teens had been long awaited, it was said they would bring harmony back to Otherworld. They were destined for greatness, but when they don’t know who can be trusted, or what secrets are being kept from them how can they hope to succeed, especially when Brigara’s influence is extensive, and it seems they will never be safe from her reaches. Unravel the prophesies and unlock the truth in C. Toni Graham’s Crossroads and the Dominion of Four.

Crossroads and the Dominion of Four is a young adult high fantasy written by  C. Toni Graham. Readers are drawn instantly into a world of magic and magical beings as our young heroes make their way through the Otherworld in order to undertake the training they will need to become the heroes of prophecy. All the time, in the mortal realm, Brigara puts a new plan into motion. The impression of this magical world is continued in small details, such as natural remedies, leaf compresses, everyday things aligned to the natural and magical world. This unlikely group of friends form a team to be reckoned with, and you’ll witness the growth and development of their skills, friendship, and characters throughout their whimsical, action-packed, and danger-filled journey. This is a fantastic and magical read for lovers of everything that is fantasy, well deserving of five stars.

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Book review: The Falcon Strikes by Gabrielle Mathieu (@GabrielleAuthor )

Drawn to Ireland in the hope of preventing a repeat of the horrific events in Switzerland, reviewPeppa finds herself on a desperate search for the arms dealer responsible for the devastating toxin. But just as Horus had a nemesis in Seth, so too is there a totem out there with a power and strength as dangerous as her own. While Peppa was hunting for answers, and the elusive Silvia De Pena, she too was being hunted. A surprise gift from a secret admirer warned her just how resourceful her new nemesis was, forcing her to take shelter with her ailing and estranged grandmother. Peppa finds herself amidst the IRA conflict, where even your choice of whiskey can have brutal consequences. Can she stop De Silva before she can peddle her devastating poison?

As we rejoin Peppa be prepared to notice an increasing development in the characters, not only Peppa and her bond with Cora, but we also come to learn more about Silvia De Pena. Having left her love, Peppa makes some difficult choices as she faces perhaps her most dangerous challenges yet. Gabrielle Mathieu writes in the first person narrative, with a talent I have rarely seen applied to this perspective. She has a skill for drawing the reader in, and the descriptive manner of her writing conjures a perfect atmosphere. Set in 1957, the author shows great attention to detail and avoids the common traps authors writing outside a modern timeline fall into. This is a really fantastic series, and although I have read the first book, The Falcon Flies Alone, this book, The Falcon Strikes, could be read as a stand alone, because almost everything you need to know from the previous book is carefully explained as part of the plot. If you’re looking for an insightful, imaginative, gripping read filled with mystery, threat, feuds, revelations, and even a spark of romance, then look no further than this mystifying tale.

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Book review: Alterni by Sunshine Somerville (@kynacoba )

Esme was trapped, locked in a room with nine very different versions of herself. None of reviewwhom seemed to have the faintest idea what was happening. There was but one constant, they were all her, and yet each one was different. When released from her prison she saw something in the eyes of those who gazed upon her, recognition. The Order, the people responsible for bringing her to this alternate reality, have been keeping a secret from the people of their world. A dangerous secret. Beings from another plane called the Malevolenci had discovered a means to open rifts into their world, and had been doing so for eighty generations. They invade, killing thousands, and this world’s own conjuri are powerless to close the their tears in the universe. Only an alterni can sense them, and only they can close these rifts. But this is not the first time someone looking to be her has attempted such a thing. Eight came before her to fight beside the king. Will she be just another victim in an endless war, or can she do what those before her had failed to? Find out in Sunshine Somerville’s Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1)
It is rare for me to be so quickly taken in by a book, but there is just something about Sunshine Somerville’s writing style that reels you in. Time flies as you effortless turn page after page learning more about the alternative world, its culture, people, magic, and the threat and hardships it faces. The characters are instantly likeable and are moulded by their own experiences. They are complex, fallible, flawed, and amazing, each in their own right with their own strengths. Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1) shows magnificent world building, structure, and storytelling, all of which add to a sense of realism behind the fantasy plot. I rarely recommend books, but this is one book that gets my unquestioning recommendation to anyone looking for a good read. Alterni is filled with suspense, action, intrigue, heartbreak, magic, conflict, mystery and so much more, all while taking you on a thrilling journey of growth and change. There are a lot of subtle touches and unexpected revelations, this is a book that will not leave you wanting. It has definitely made its way into my top personal ten books for this year. I can’t wait to see where book two takes us. This is a series I am genuinely excited about. Well done Sunshine Somerville!
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Alterni