Face the Night by Alan Lastufka

 

Face the Night

 

Face the Night by Alan Lastufka

Publishing:  March 8, 2022 by Shortwave Media

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  It looked interesting, and it’s a debut novel.

 

Face the Night by Alan Lastufka is a supernatural mystery novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Shortwave Media and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Addie has been raising her son Dylan on her own, but her father, the Mayor of Cellar Ohio is trying to taken him from her.  Even when Dylan’s biological father tries to step up, the judge disregards him.  Addie is given 30 days to get a full-time job.

She is somewhat successful in attaining a job with the police department as a sketch artist, using her skills as a tattoo artist as background. 

Unfortunately, Addie has been having nightmares for years, and suddenly, the only face she can draw, is the one from her nightmares.   He even seems to be attacking her during the day.  If she can’t solve this problem, she will lose her job, and thereby lose custody of her son.

 

My Opinions:   

This was good, just not great.  I may be in the minority here.  I enjoyed it, but it also annoyed me.  The writing was okay, and the plot interesting, but it was missing something.

Some of the elements were a little much.  Addie’s behaviour toward child rearing and job-finding left a lot to be desired, as did her decision to bring her child’s deadbeat drug and alcohol addicted father into the picture to try to win custody of her child.  So it was difficult to truly like her.  Her father was over-the-top.  I really liked Hinkley.  I think an explanation as to why Addie could see ghosts would have been nice….yet others could see and feel him too, so, maybe not.

Anyway, I will be watching for this author’s next novel.

Read: March, 2022

 

 

About The Author: Alan Lastufka is an author, songwriter, and co-founder of DFTBA Records.  He lives in Oregon.

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4604053355

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher

 

Book Cover

 

The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher

Publishing: September 28,  2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  It looked really interesting, and I admit to loving the title and the cover.

 

The Orphan Witch is a fantasy novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martin’s Press and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Persephone May was abandoned as an infant and waded through foster home after foster home.  She never fit anywhere, and just when she thought she might, something would happen.  Usually that “something” was caused by Persephone.  Things just happened around her, and heaven help whoever she stared at.  As she grew up, she moved around a lot, always searching.

In all this time, she made one friend, and when Persephone receives an email from her inviting her to Hyacinthe’s home on Wile Island, she jumps at the chance.  Much to her surprise, Persephone immediately felt at home on the Island.  For the island was as strange as she.

It urns out that Hyacinthe and her sister Moira are long lost cousins, both imbued with magic, as is Persephone.  This explains so much of PersepheThey hope that the three of them together will be able to unlock the 100-year-old curse of the island, and free themselves and the other witches who are locked in time.  However, there are others on the island who think this is a bad idea.

Persephone will have to learn to control her magic if there is any chance of success….and survival.  In the end, though, her magic may demand more from her than she thought.

 

My Opinions:   

First, I admit to being drawn to be book because of the cover.  It’s beautiful.

Second, the premise of it sounded so good…witches, a magic-filled island, a curse….  The book is about magic.  It is also about greed and power.  But it is also about sacrifices, family, love, and discovering your strengths.

However, my hopes for this book sort of fell flat.  I had such a hard time getting into it.  The pace was so slow.  It lacked excitement, although there was some close to the end.  The characters, on the other hand were very interesting, and I loved both Dorian and The Library.   As we learned more about the curse and the witches, the story became more interesting.  That’s not to say it still didn’t drag.  As well, it was often quite repetitive, and occasionally a little confusing.

Overall, the atmosphere and the characters carried the story, and in that respect, the book was good.  It just needed a little spark.

 

Read: September, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from The Orphan Witch:

“Magic always takes its price.”

 

Paige CrutcherAbout The Author: Paige Crutcher is an American author, and formerly a Southern Correspondent for Publishers Weekly. She is an artist and yogi, and when not writing, she prefers to spend her time trekking through the forest with her children, hunting for portals to new worlds.

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4244908489

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

The Bookbinder’s Daughter by Jessica Thorne

 

Book Cover

 

The Bookbinder’s Daughter by Jessica Thorne

Publishing:  September 20, 2021 by Bookouture

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  It’s about books, and libraries…and magic!  What more could I want?

 

The Bookbinder’s Daughter by Jessica Thorne is a fantasy novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Sophie Lawrence returns to Ayredale Special Collection Library, where her mother disappeared, where she lived until she was 15, where her memories are few.  She left London behind.  Her father is dead, and her lover not worth her time.  Was she truly coming home? Uncle Edward offered her the book-binding job in the most prestigious library, that had the finest collection of rare books in the world.  Her parents both worked there in the past.  Now she could too.

When her mother disappeared, Sophie lost herself.  She remembers very little of the Library, or the people who still inhabit this expansive estate.  But things are coming back to her.  Her father had refused to speak of her mother,  and Sophie now hopes that someone here can tell her what she needs to know.

Will Rhys returned to the Library eight years ago, and is now cataloguing and indexing, working with the researchers who came here and fielding enquiries.  He and Sophie were once close.

However, there are some strange things in this Library.  The Keeper of the Library seems to be keeping secrets, as do others.  They seem to be reluctant to speak to her about her mother.  What are they hiding?  Why can Sophie read the strange spells in the old books, when no one else can?

 

My Opinions:   

First, I loved the cover, and although I don’t usually pick a book by it’s cover….this one definitely caught my eye.  I have never read anything by the author before, so the next thing that caught my eye was the blurb, which appealed.

Then, I really enjoyed the book.  The plot, atmosphere and imagery were good.  As were the characters, especially the Tree.  I loved both Will and Sophie (once she stood up for herself).  Even the romance angle was okay.   Yes, the book is about magic.  It is also about love, family, and re-birth.  Then there is the darker side of it.  Manipulating, bullying, and the need for power.  Add a few secrets, mix them together, and end up with an an interesting read.

Overall, it was a very captivating story, and although a little repetitive at times, the book held my interest from start to finish.  I was almost surprised to find that it was a stand-alone novel.

 

Read: September, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from The Bookbinder’s Daughter:

“Books and magic have always gone hand in hand.”

“The Tree lived and breathed creativity. It gave inspiration to the greater world. All the thoughts and dreams that spilled out of it came from the primordial chaos. But creativity couldn’t thrive in that chaos.  It had to be nurtured….”

 

About The Author: Ruth Frances Long writes young adult fantasy.  As Jessica Thorne she writes fantasy and space opera romance.  As R.F. Long she writes fantasy and paranormal romance. She lives in Ireland.   Check out her website at http://www.rflong.com/

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4235387182

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

The Drowning Kind

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

Publishing: April 6, 2021 by Simon & Schuster

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  She is a popular author, but I have not yet read anything she has written….This one looked good, so I thought I’d jump in.  (Hey, I can swim!)

 

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon is a supernatural thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon & Schuster, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Jax and her sister Lexie were so close as they grew up, even though her sister was often a bully.  But when their grandmother dies and leaves her home (Sparrow Crest) to Lexie,  Jax’s jealousy prevents her from sharing in her sisters good fortune.  They have not been in touch for over a year.

When her sister starts calling again, Jax ignores the calls.  Lexie’s mental health issues are horrendous when she doesn’t take her meds, and Jax is sick of rushing to her rescue. But when she gets a call from her aunt, telling her that Lexie has drowned in the pool they grew up playing in, Jax returns to Sparrow Crest.

Jax is determined to understand what happened.  She wants to uncover the history of her family and the property that have been kept secret from her all these years.  But then, Lexie was looking into the same thing.

The pool has always had a reputation.  People came from far and wide to swim in it’s dark waters and to drink from it’s murky depths.  For it is widely known that the pool can heal.  It is also known that what the pool gives, the pool takes.  And now it appears it has taken Lexie.

 

My Opinions:   

OMG….this was an edge-of-your-seat page turner!  I absolutely loved it.

This was a ghost story that will make me think twice every time I step into the murky waters of an unknown body of water.  That “pool” came to life for me.  It was a creepy spot, and the author made sure you knew it!  She nailed the atmosphere all around that place!

The story is told in the both the present (Jax’s story in 2019), and the past (Ethel’s story showing how the house came to be, in 1929).  Both stories were equally compelling.

I loved the characters, both past and present, although I wasn’t overly fond of Lexie or Ted.  But that really didn’t matter…they fit the story perfectly.

The writing was excellent.  It was a really fast read….there was no putting this one down!  I have a couple of other books by this author, and they have just moved up my TBR pile.

Definitely recommend this one…grab it if you are in the mood to be freaked out a little.

For a more complete review of this book and others (including author information and a favorite quotation or two from this book), please visit my blog: https://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

Read: April, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from The Drowning Kind:

“For everyone out there who has the good sense to be a little afraid ­when swimming in deep, dark water. You tell yourself there’s nothing down there, but there is. There always is.”

“There’s nothing in that water but what we bring with us.”

“The pool gives and the pool takes.”

 

Jennifer McMahonAbout The Author: Jennifer McMahon is an American author of suspense novels.  She lives in Vermont with her partner and daughter , in an old Victorian that some neighbors call The Addams Family house.Check out this author’s website at https://jennifer-mcmahon.com/

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3686179840

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

The Redwood Asylum by L.A. Detwiler

The Redwood Asylum: A Paranormal Horror

 

The Redwood Asylum by L.A. Detwiler

Self-Published: March 12, 2021

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:   I have enjoyed other books by this author

 The Redwood Asylum by L.A. Detwiler is a paranormal horror story.

First, let me thank NetGalley, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Jessica Rosen left Mercy Hospital without even giving notice.  At 26, she needs to disappear, start fresh.  And so she finds herself in a new job at The Redwood Asylum,  a large stone building set in the middle of a thick forest.  The nearby town of Oakwood holds the wealthy, and the Asylum holds the ones that don’t fit in.  It always has.

Jessica finds herself getting used to Redwood.  The rules of other hospitals don’t seem to apply, as the owners stay away, the paperwork is done shoddily if at all, and half the staff is not even qualified.  Laws, and moral ethics are more guidelines, than requirements.  Rules are broken, and no one complains.  For all that, they say if you can last a day or two, you won’t want to leave.  Redwood somehow takes hold of you.

Amidst the confused residents, are the more disturbed, the criminally insane, the psychopaths, and the ghosts. Jessica  seems to be finding a lot of ghosts.

One of her patients on the 5th floor insists that they were waiting for Jessica to arrive.  His rantings and talk of nonsensical things has her baffled, but she is determined to understand this patient in room 5B.  No one else seems to care.

But as her boss continually tells her to leave things alone, Jessica will not…..and this could cost  her more than she had bargained for.

 

My Opinions:   

This was good…an old-fashioned haunted asylum story.  Unfortunately,  it was rather predictable.  The plot was nothing new, and nothing surprising, but it was still well-written.  The book even had a “Nurse Ratched”, if not in name.

Intermingled with the main chapters of Jessica and her problems, are chapters providing the history of The Asylum, and those were as interesting as the story.  Apparently there will be a pre-quel to this book which will center on the early years of the asylum.  That sounds promising.

I wish I could have liked Jessica more.  She was very naive, and acted rashly.  Although I didn’t guess the exact circumstances of her needing a fresh start, I was close.

The pace was relatively quick, and it was a fast read.  I was never bored, but neither was I “scared”.  The atmosphere was creepy,  and some of the ghosts a little gross, but  It seemed to be missing the actual fear factor (for me anyway).

Overall, it was a good haunted asylum story.

  Read: March 2021

 

L.A. DetwilerAbout The Author:  L.A. Detwiler (Lindsay) is an American author who also teaches high school English in Pennsylvania. She has written several romance novels, but is now trying her hand at thrillers – and succeeding. She lives in Hollidaysburg PA with her husband,  their mastiff, Henry, and many cats. Check out her website at http://www.ladetwiler.com

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3877533586

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst

The Bone Maker

 

The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst

Publishing: March 9, 2021 by Harper Voyager

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  First, I have not read any of her novels before because I thought she wrote children’s books.  My apologies to the author.  The premise of this book caught my eye, which is when I checked out her website and realized my mistake….and here we are.

 

The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst is a fantasy novel.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Harper Voyager, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

All she wants is her husband back.  She lost him 25 years ago, when she and four others risked their lives to defeat the corrupt magician Eklor.  Her husband did not survive the battle.

Since then, Kreya has lead a solitary life in a remote tower, trying to resurrect her dead husband using human bones and a sacrifice of her blood.  For every day she resurrects him, her own life loses a day. That is no concern, but finding the bones has become an issue, and even though she uses the bones from the already dead,  what she does is unlawful.

She has no choice left.  She approaches Zera, once her best friend, and one of the five heroes who battled Eklor.  Only Zera’s skill at creating talismans can protect her while she searches for bones to resurrect her dead husband.  But the reunion was not as she had hoped, and although Zera eventually agrees to Kreya’s rather outrageous idea, nothing goes according to plan.  It forces the original 5 hero’s to re-unite to once again save the day.

And so they come together 25 years after the first battle.  Kreya, the leader, the one who can make the bones into mechanical “constructs” to perform almost any task.  Zera, who can make talisman’s out of bones to empower them. Jentt, who could manipulate talismans and perform amazing feats.  Marso, who could read the future in the bones.  Stran, whose warrior strength is enhanced even more by the talismans that Zera creates.  All of them have changed since that first battle, but their enemy remains the same.  But this time, the five alone will not be enough.

 

My Opinions:   

Well, this novel surprised me, as did the author.  The author created a new world of magical creations that had me begging for more.

I loved the banter between Kreya and Zera.  It felt like a true friendship. The characters were amazing, and they all sucked me in to caring about them.  Both their strength and weaknesses made them “real”.   Strangely enough, even the “constructs” earned my admiration and devotion.  Those little rag doll constructs had me on edge every time they were asked to do something.  I feared for their lives! And that little bird…..

The plot was fast-paced, wildly entertaining, and it was very well-written.  There were no major surprises, but none were needed.  The story just carried the reader through. It is a long book, but it didn’t drag.

It was a story of friendship, of love, of redemption, of second chances.  It is also a story of overcoming fears, of ethics, of sacrifice, and of acceptance.

I liked the ending.  It wasn’t a true happily ever after, but it was right…and it left me wanting more.

Read: March, 2021

Favorite Quotes from The Bone Maker:

“It’s always about time, Kreya thought. How much you use, how much you waste, and how much you waste regretting the time you already wasted.”

For each day he lived again, she would live one day less.  Worth it, she thought. A thousand times worth it.”

“Maybe there were no perfect choices for anyone to make, hero or villain. Maybe there was only doing the best you could do with the time you had.”

 

Sarah Beth DurstAbout The Author: Sarah Beth Durst is an American author, born in Massachusetts.  She is the award-winning author of over twenty fantasy books.  She graduated from Princeton University where she studied English.  She currently lives in New York with her husband and children.   Check out Sarah’s website at http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3568798400

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

You Are Invited by Sarah A. Denzil

You Are Invited

 

You Are Invited by Sarah A. Denzil

Published: September 21, 2020 by Victory Editing NetGalley Co-Op

 

 

Reason I Chose to Read this Book: Premise of the story appealed to me, and I have had some success with other books by this author.  For me, she is hit or miss, but I’m always willing to try, because when she hits the mark, it is really good!

 

You Are Invited by Sarah A. Denzil  is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Victory Editing NetGalley Co-Op, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Cath Fenwick is ecstatic.  She received an invitation from Irene Jobert,  to be one of five participants in “The Event”.  Cath will be staying in a renovated Transylvanian monastery in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, totally isolated.  She can’t believe her luck.  Irene Jobert is the most famous social media influencer in the world.

As part of this retreat, Cath has agreed that almost every step she takes will be live-streamed to millions around the world.  Her followers, if they subscribe, will be paying for exclusive content. Along with Cath (a writer), there is Irene (a model), Nathan (a gamer), Jules (a blogger), and Dan (a fitness instructor).  The followers will be able to chat amongst themselves, and with the participants.

The followers are surprised to see a sixth individual lurking in the background of some of the pictures and videos, and warn the participants, but they are already aware of strange things happening in the monastery.

It is said that the forests around the monastery contain wolves, and other things.  It is said that ghosts walk the corridors of the monastery, that Sfântul Mihail is haunted.  Others say they are not ghosts at all.  They are vampires. 

It’s a good thing that Cath doesn’t believe in all that nonsense.

 

My Opinions:   

Basically this book is a reality tv show, based on the contestants living together in a haunted house, and with plenty of access to their fans.  I don’t watch reality tv shows.   However, I do read ghost stories, so this was definitely up my alley.

On the suspense and creepiness scale, it was right up there.  Very well done.  It was a little dark, and very atmospheric.  The characters were also well done, and their emotions shone through enough that you felt their fears.  You knew most of them were keeping a secret or two, and you knew that one of them you couldn’t trust at all, but that didn’t detract from the “ghost” story part of the book.

My only concern was that I’m not sure the mental health issues  were handled correctly,  but they were somewhat convincing. Personally, I think living with 4 other strangers would do me in.   Add the creepy location and strange events, and my anxiety would be at an all time high.  However, I think schizophrenia was the wrong label to apply, since the ending seemed to prove that a broken mirror and a dead nun could heal that. I have faith, but that didn’t jive.

Overall, it was a really fast, entertaining read, and with this one the author hit the mark.

Read: January, 2020

 

Favorite Quotes from You Are Invited:

“ I realised that it’s our minds that are haunted, not our lives.”

“Our eyes have blind spots that are filled in by the mind, and not always accurately. Stress can change the way we process what we’re seeing. Illness, too. I’m not saying that everyone who has a supernatural experience is mentally ill, but the fact is, we can’t always trust what we see or feel.”

 

Sarah A. DenzilAbout The Author: Sarah A. Denzil is a British author. Combined, her self-published and published books, along with audiobooks and foreign translations, have sold over one million copies worldwide. She lives in England with her husband.  Check out her website: https://sarahdenzil.com/

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3743067622

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know

 

 

 

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

You Let Me in

 

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

Published: April 21, 2020 by Tor Books

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I love a debut novel, as I love to discover new authors. 

Just a Few Words:   Be warned, I thought this was going to be a psychological thriller.  It is not.  It was a totally unexpected surprise — and I loved it.

 

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce is a horror/fantasy/fiction novel.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Tor Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Janus and Penelope are discovering the depth of their inheritance.  Cassandra Tripp wrote romance novels, and was very successful.   She was also eccentric, and reclusive.   Crazy Aunt Cassie’s will states that a year must pass since she was last seen, and then can be assumed dead.   No body has been found, but the year has passed.  The pair must first read a manuscript she left in her home where they are to find a password, and present it to the solicitor.

The manuscript appears to be Cassandra’s life story.   Cassandra Tripp had led a rather strange life.   She’d always been viewed as strange, talking to invisible friends, and having no real friends of her own.  She never got along with her family.  The trial where she was acquitted of murdering her husband was partly due to a very strong lawyer with a psychiatrist on her side, and partly due to the fact that people thought she was too insane to have killed him, especially so violently.  Then there was the murder-suicide of her father and brother.

Janus and Penelope will have to give the manuscript some thought.  Do they believe their aunt?   Or the psychiatrist who wrote about their aunt?   Or do they even care?

 

My Opinions:   

For a debut novel, this was really good.  It is rather difficult to specify the genre, as it is part fantasy, part mystery, part love story, and rather haunting.  It is also rather dark.  Confusing as hell at first, but good.  You have to have an open mind when you read this, and be able to believe the unbelievable, or not.  It helps if you can just immerse yourself in this book, and treat it like a fairy tale, and be prepared for the ogre.  That is fairly easy to do, because it is very descriptive, and the world the author creates is vivid.  Once you’ve given reality up, the story comes to life.

The book touches on mental illness, and abuse, abortion, and dysfunctional families.  It is also about love.  It is told from the perspective of a woman who does not believe she is mentally ill, and that faeries really do exist.  So we hear her tale, as it is real to her.  The novel showed that there are two sides to every story.  In this one, a woman tells about her life spent with faeries, and her doctor talks about  her mental illness.  It is left to the reader to decide who to believe….and it isn’t cut and dried.  Each event could be justified by either side.

I really enjoyed this book.  The writing was good, the plot great, and the characters deep.  The imagery was wonderful, and made the reader really see what the world the author created.

I am really looking forward to more books by this author.

Read: November, 2020

 

Favorite Quotes from You Let Me In:

“ He looked up at me with bloody lips. “You were here first, and I have grown used to the taste of you now. You let me in, and here I am, forever yours till the end.”

“How could I possibly have let him in? I couldn’t recall ever having done anything like that. Was it because I was wrong? Was that what allowed him to slip inside?”

“Can’t both stories be true?” I asked. “Why is it that only because one thing is true, the other thing is not? Why do we always have to decide?”

 

Camilla Bruce

About The Author: Camilla Bruce is a Norwegian writer who has published several short stories. She has a master’s degree in comparative literature and a varied work history in communications and project management. Camilla currently lives in Trondheim with her son and cat.  Check out her website at www.camillabruce.com

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3076209842

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Untold Deception by William Staikos

Untold Deception

Untold Deception by William Staikos

Published:  Self-Published in July, 2018

 

 

Reason(s)  I chose to Read this Book: 1)  The author approached me on LinkedIn, and didn’t mind that I wouldn’t get to it for 5-6 months (it’s been 8 — sorry William).  2)  It looked interesting.  3)  I love the cover.  4) The author is Canadian.

 

Untold Deception by William Staikos is a Young Adult Fantasy novel.

First, let me thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.  Sorry for the delay in reviewing William!

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

16-year old Salan  Alkacheta is an Abomination, only allowed to live so that the government can use him in their military when he is old enough.  He is  half human and half Felis (cat-like), and he is just coming into his gifts.  He can create a smoke-like aura that can be used as almost anything he needs.  Abominations are treated as social outcasts, and Salan and his mother live in the slums, and try to make ends meet, but due to the prejudices he faces, they aren’t succeeding.

Salan meets Seraculus on his first day of high school.  She too is an Abomination.  She is a Minyades, a bat-like race of people.  Seraculus is his first friend.

While hunting to put food on their table, and to get pelts to trade for money, Salan mistakenly kills an endangered species. His mother is out-raged and insists he get rid of the evidence.  However, Salan knows that he can get a lot of money for those pelts, and they are in desperate need.

It isn’t long before his deed is discovered, and he is called to the Town Square to be tortured.  Soon he is running for his life, running from one country on the verge of a war, to another.

 

My Opinions:   

This is a wonderful coming-of-age fantasy story, and was quite enjoyable (even for someone as old as I am).   It centered on the topic of race discrimination, and the unfair treatment of those that are not “the norm”.

It was well-written, and well-paced, with plenty of action, and a good plot.

The characters and races are well-defined, and the imagery is good.  It is quite easy to picture the different races whether they are Cyclops, or Felis, or the colour changing Hymers.

I liked how the author started each new chapter with a quote from people ranging from Albert Einstein to Elvis Presley.

Although the copy I received had a number of grammatical errors in it which were quite annoying, the book was quite an enjoyable read!

Read: August, 2020

Favorite Quotes from Untold Deception:

“ Part of growing up is when you stop assuming someone will treat you just as fair as you treat them.:

“One friend, that’s all it takes when you’re feeling down. “

“Here, this is how you do a tie. The rabbit bounded away with the fox snapping at his cottontail. Once around the tree, the fox chased the rabbit. Twice around the tree, they ran.The rabbit darted under a bush, away from the fox. And dove right into the safety of his cool, dark hole,” she sang as she tied my tie.”

 

William Staikos

About The Author: William Staikos is a Canadian author living in London, Ontario.  Although he is a Technical Writer, he is now trying out his more creative writing talents.  Check out his website at www.williamstaikos.com

*** Photo Taken from Goodreads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3177939568

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

The Complete Grimm Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

The Complete Grimm Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm (Jacob & Wilhelm)

Publishing: August 4, 2020 by Quarto Publishing Group – Rock Point

5Stars

 

Reason I Chose to Read this Book:  I thought this would be great fun to read some classic tales.

 

The Complete Grimm Fairy Tales by Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is an anthology of 211 of the classic tales, told to children for over two centuries.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Quarto Publishing Group – Rock Point, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis and Opinions:   

First, I think this is a book you will want a hard copy of…the bigger the better.  This book is not meant for an e-reader.

Now,  I admit that I don’t remember my mom reading these to me, or me reading them to myself either.  I remember Mowgli, and then The Secret Garden, and Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew…then Erle Stanley Gardner and Stephen King….  Guess we weren’t a fairy-tale family.  I do know most of the popular stories in this book, but not really from my own childhood.

Now, I really recommend reading these stories yourself before reading them to your child.  Only you can decide whether it is appropriate for your child.  I am a horror story reader, and I think some of these are a better fit for that genre.

The Grimm brothers collected folk tales, and wrote them down, usually embellishing on the story, and sometimes re-writing them totally.  These stories are timeless.  The book is an amazing collection of over 200 short stories.

Of course, there are the old favorites like Rapunzel, Hansel & Grethel, and Cinderella (who doesn’t have a Fairy Godmother, or a pumpkin coach), and Little Red Cap (otherwise known as Little Red Riding Hood), which were a pleasure to read and remember, although I really don’t remember them being quite that dark.  Some were a little different than I remembered.  An example was The Frog King, where the princess didn’t have to kiss her frog, but he appeared a prince after she threw the frog against a wall in anger….I think my version was a little kinder.

However, there were some tales that were new to me.   Cat and Mouse in Partnership was one such, although it reminded me of the story about the frog that helped the scorpion across the river.  The Wise Servant baffles me (and my husband), which seems to tell people not to obey orders from their boss, but do whatever they feel like.

My favorite….The Duration of Life.

Anyway, these are definitely an entertaining read, but again, read them yourself before thinking your child is old enough (apparently 60 may not be old enough for some of these!)

 

Read: August, 2020

 

About The Authors:  Jacob Grimm (1785–1863) and his brother Wilhelm (1786–1859) were born in Germany.  They were academics, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together collected and published folklore during the 19th century. 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3471735074