author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Jessica V Fisette’s Fire and Ice

Allie didn’t believe them, the things that had been whispered about Phoenix after her reviewaccident. She alone still looked for him, she had faith that he was neither responsible for the fire, nor dead. Of course, having driven off a bridge, and lost her memories of that night didn’t help her case any. But a gnawing fear told her there was more to the situation than she thought, more than she remembered. How right she had been, and how lucky she was to trust her instincts when a sudden visit by official looking figures at her school didn’t sit right with her. She had run, run as if her life depended on it, and it had. She and Phoenix had touched upon a world of magic, a skill they thought was unique to them, but there were more out there like her, yet at the same time, in the eyes of some, there was no one like her. She was just what was needed. A long lost piece of a play for power, and she didn’t even know how to defend herself.

Fire and Ice follows Allie’s story. It is easy to initially believe that you have started this book at number two, a clever ploy by the author, Jessica V Fisette, to allow in plot discovery by the protagonist, and as this book is written solely in the first person perspective, we only know and learn what they themselves do, so a gap in memory leading a reader to think they have missed something, is in fact exactly how Allie’s feels, and in time, throughout the journey, more is discovered until most things fall into place. This is an ideal young adult / new adult read, reminding me in some places of an L. J Smith novel, whilst not being in any way derivative. You’ll cringe at Allie’s decisions, but realise that at her age rash and impulsive thinking came more natural in dangerous scenarios than trust and ask questions. A journey of discovery, uncovering the truth about her past, and fighting to reclaim her present before anything more is stripped from her.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

author, book review, reading

Book review: Hungry Ghosts by Calvin Demmer

Hungry Ghosts is a short horror story written by Calvin Demmer

The Hungry Ghost festival is the most important festival of hungry ghost month in China. hungryThe gates of hell are opened and hungry ghosts are released to find food or to take revenge on those who have behaved badly. Their ancestors present offerings to feed these ghosts, as well as burn clothes, money and items they may need in the after life. But some ghosts are not so easily appeased.

Lara and Ray take a vacation in China in the middle of this festival, they are at a crossroads in their relationship and this vacation, for Lara at least, is make or break. Lara was given a card advising of the correct etiquette to observe during Hungry Ghost month, and already Ray has disrespected their traditions. His whole attitude is wrong, and soon the future of their relationship is the least of their concerns.

This was a really nicely written short story which not only teaches about the Chinese festival but gives you the feel of actually being there. For a short story you get a good feel for the characters, and the situations they are facing. Nicely descriptive with a good flow and certainly suitable to fans of point horror, young adult, and adult horror.

Amazon link: Hungry Ghosts

author, book review, reading

Book review: The Healer Book 1 C.J. Anaya

The Healer Book 1 by C.J. Anaya is a young adult paranormal romance, also suitable for new adults. Hope has been protected all her life, shielded and watched over. She remained indexhidden, despite the searching eyes of the Kami who sought her out. Hope is the embodiment of prophecy, a mortal with the power of the gods. She is able to communicate with a person’s life force, and instruct it how to repair damage. She is a healer, the survival of a whole race rests on her adolescent shoulders. For so long she had hidden who she was, only her father and a young boy know the truth, not even Angie, her best friend knows her secrets. Using her job as a janitor at the hospital Hope heals who she can and feels a great destiny is laid before her. She has no idea her entire life has already been decided for her. Her two lives, the secret healer and the high school student are forced to merge when two new students arrive in her school. Unusually they captivate her attention, and seem to know more about her than they are willing to reveal. Hope fears someone has discovered her secret. But the arrival of these two is merely the harbinger of danger.

With a first person narrative it is impossible not to be drawn into The Healer, age range it would certainly appeal to its target audience as well as some adults, especially those who enjoy a healthy dose of mythology. The Healer is an excellent example of Fabulism/ Magic realism combining myths and fables from the Japanese culture, as well as touching on a few others. C.J. Anaya has an excellent writer’s voice and sets a brilliant pace. As a holistic therapist I appreciated the clear thought and research that had been invested in creating a realistic healer, it shows an understanding of healing techniques employed in various forms of energy healing, thus enhancing the reader experience. I could have read this book in a single sitting if not for it being so late when I first started reading, it was impossible not to get lost in the story. Real characters, enjoyable dialogue, and fun to read, add secrets, romance, and mythology, what more could you ask for?

RF_Official_Reviewer

US: The Healer

UK: The Healer

author, book review, reading

Book review: Underland by Chanda Hahn

Underland by Chanda Hahn is young adult paranormal novel, with urban fantasy elements. Kira hadn’t always been lost, once she’d had a family, a father who loved her indexand shared with her the experience of his Navy SEAL training. When she had awoken with night terrors he had chased them away, but when he died the nightmares became flesh. She fled the streets to escape the wrath of her violent step-father, and for two years she had survived. Then one night the monsters returned plunging her into a world of slavery where she was sold to the highest bidder. Humans are the lowest of the low, the bottom of the food chain, so what chance does she really have in this mythical world beneath the streets? As if things weren’t bad enough, she is selected to participate in the games. Her new prison is already filled with enemies, creatures thought only to be myth, who would prefer to kill her rather than look at her, especially given the entrance she made into their territory. Can she form the alliances needed to survive this terrifying world, and Continue reading “Book review: Underland by Chanda Hahn”