fantasy

Book Review: Marika by Mari Collier

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Marika (The Chronicles Of Tonath Book 3)Marika by Mari Collier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marika is the 3rd book in the ‘Chronicles of Tonath’ series written by Mari Collier. While you don’t need to read them in order, it’s probably a good idea to give it a try if you can. I chose to read this one first (the latest) because I liked the plot line and wanted to sample something by the author. I can easily say that Collier is a wonderful writer, and I will continue to read more from her.

The people of Tonath have been through a tremendous amount. Some of them, like Marika, have secrets that have yet to be discovered, even by the secret keeper themselves! The book kicks off with Marika as a young girl at religious / spiritual services with her mother and several brothers in an institution. She has a weird out-of-body experience where a voice speaks to her and warns her that someone is in danger. Marika tries to tell the person, but her mother prevents her from speaking the truth and chalks it up to a young girl’s imagination. We soon learn Marika’s mother wants the property her daughter inherited from her recently deceased father. We’re unsure if her mother is good or bad, but we continue to see the relationship spin and evolve for the next 10+ years as Marika grows up and must wait until her 18th birthday to formally decide what to do with the land.

Meanwhile, as Marika tries to understand these strange powers building inside her mind, someone from the past visits her and provides a quest that she is destined to follow. Marika wants to be informed about her life, the truth, and her planet’s history before she listens to her mother to sell the property and get married. Two suitors are interested, but Marika won’t commit. Then she decides to follow the quest that someone puts before her… revealing Marika’s true lineage and purpose in the world. What must this amazing young woman do to accept the truth and protect those around her?

Collier takes her readers on a wild science fiction and fantasy ride through life on another planet. We know a little bit about Tonath, but not everything (perhaps it’s covered in earlier books), so we’re learning a lot as we go on this journey. Marika’s gift and responsibilities run deep. Will she be able to contain them? Once she makes a decision about whom to marry, and how to deal with her mother’s relentless grip on things, Marika’s mind and world open up to the past. She discovers what happened years ago, what she needs to do, how to stay alive for longer than most, and how to fall in love the right way. She learns to trust and become part of the solution rather than just another cog in the system that does little to help the world around her.

Collier has created a believable world with lots of emotional situations for her characters. While everything feels human, there is another layer to the complexity of Marika’s past and her powers, so as readers… we’re always wondering what else might happen. She’s suffered a lot, and when she meets people like the teacher / professor and some of the brothers in the institution, it’s clear to tell she is special – but we also know some do not want her to survive.

I’m always impressed by writers in this genre when they create the unimaginable for me. I live with walls and structure, yet on another planet, so much can happen. It’s intriguing to discover how authors like Collier can dream up such fantastic worlds we’ve never been in but make them feel so real. Kudos for a well-written story that just happens to have a basis in science fiction and reality. While that’s an important component, what readers will enjoy most here is the maturation process of a young girl who yearns to find the truth about her father, the past, and her purpose. She’s a role model for many, and I look forward to seeing more of her in future books perhaps.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Heir of Doom by Jina S. Bazzar

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Heir of Doom (The Roxanne Fosch Files, #2)Heir of Doom by Jina S. Bazzar


Heir of Doom is the second book in Jina S. Bazzar’s trilogy, The Roxanne Fosch Files, and falls in the suspenseful fantasy genre. I’ve previously read the first book, Heir of Ashes, and a prequel short story, The Curse, before reading this one. They are best read in order so you get the full picture of everything going on in this extraordinary world. I buddy read this one over four days with my friend, Misty, and enjoyed it very much.

Roxanne is half human. She was given up at birth due to several reasons we learned about in a previous book, but ultimately, she’s been held captive for ~20 years. She escaped from someone’s clutches only to be kidnapped again and tortured many times. Now, she’s out on her own after the last book, and is trying to find out the truth about her past. In this book, she wants to help a missing girl who’s being raised by the same woman who raised Roxanne, except this little girl is indeed the adoptive mother’s child. Unfortunately, the child is afraid of someone and wants Roxanne’s support. Just when Roxanne thinks she can help her, the girl goes missing, and the hunt begins. Who took her? What’s the reasoning? And will Roxanne save the day?

That’s only a piece of the story. Author Bazzar takes us on a journey and race to get to the bottom of the kidnapping, only along the path, Roxanne learns way more than she expected. Who should she trust? The evil guy everyone warns her about? The adoptive mother who acts weird now? The guy she had a crush on who seems to be with someone new? A few other folks coming into and out of her life at warp speed? By the end, we learn the truth about Roxanne’s parents, and it’s a shocker. We thought we knew the whole story, but we did not!

The first half of the book was a slow burn to catch us up on history, get to know the new characters, and set the tone for why it’s so important for Roxanne to be involved in this chase. The second half was an intense ride full of deadly battles, astronomical pain and loss, and a discovery of whom you should trust. Author Bazzar really makes us fall hard for the heroine. We forgive her curt and pushy attitude. We understand why she needs to get to the truth. We love her for trying to save someone else. And we want to help her get free from the ties that bind her for what could be most of her life.

Her fighting instructor is harsh! Her friends can be loving and mean at the same time. Her enemies stop at nothing to kill her. Where will we go in the third book? I can’t wait to find out. I so enjoyed this buddy read with Misty, I’m sure we’ll take on the third book together again next year!

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Check out Misty’s review to see what she thought of our buddy read.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: The Cracked Altar by Timothy J. R. Rains

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The Cracked AltarThe Cracked Altar by Timothy J. R. Rains
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Cracked Altar, a fantasy novel by Timothy J. R. Rains, first interested me because of its intriguing title. Would it have a religious theme? What dastardly action would happen, as when something says cracked, it usually has a clever twist. As soon as I dove in, Hinkle’s near-capture captivated me. I’m not typically a reader in this genre, but the more I sample some works, I find myself becoming a fan.

Hinkle’s family tree is complex. We immediately learn that her mother is gone. She’s been living with a grandmother in a world where her family has suffered. There’s an uncle who’s a mystery and aunt who’s either a pious nun or a nefarious witch. Which will it be? Hinkle is rescued by her own special brand of knight, and her grandmother engineers a solution that will benefit them all in the future. It’s a powerful scene and sets a fantastic tone for the book. We follow Hinkle’s path with her new protector only to learn nothing we’ve thought true is indeed accurate. In this world, what’s gray is more important than what’s black and white.

Rains builds a fascinating and well-developed world where the rich are rich, and the poor are poor. Part-fairy tale and part mystical quest, the novel will engage your visual senses as each scene and action are vividly described. The battle scenes were strong but not over-the-top. The secrets were revealed at timely moments. And the clues were in abundance. The story is gripping, and I’m hopeful there will be a sequel. Kudos to the author for gaining a new fan in the fantasy genre.

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Book Review: Endgame by Patrick Hodges

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Endgame (Wielders of Arantha, #3)

Endgame by Patrick Hodges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Endgame is the third book in the Wielders of Arantha trilogy written by Patrick Hodges. I read the first two book in late 2018 and had to finish the conclusion while every little detail was fresh in my mind, as these books pack in a tremendous amount of story, characters, and settings. Each is a fantastic component, but when woven together, the series is a definite stand-out with the makings of potential major fandom. And that comes from a non-frequent fantasy reader who’s mostly familiar with works like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings — I got the same feels reading Hodges’ work as I did the others!

Think of it as a cosmic chess game. Two unknown players (until the end, of course) battling for control over millennia, tossing curveballs and misery at one another, until the game concludes. But it’s much more than that… Hodges has created a bevy of memorable characters and intense passions for survival that will keep you glued to the book for hours at end. While the focus is on epic battles to conquer other lands or obtain your freedom, within each major conflict exists the fundamental emotions and goals we all experience in life — love, pain, embarrassment, lust, anger, revenge, friendship, shock, judgment…

At times, I wasn’t sure who would end up winning the war. It could be the good or the bad guys. Then again, I had moments where I was no longer sure which side was good or bad. There is a middle ground where Hodges forces readers to question our loyalty and our connection to certain characters. People make mistakes, can they be forgiven? Others betray you for a necessary reason, can it be forgotten? Power is thrust upon those not ready, should they be punished for inexperience or immaturity? Mothers are forced to abandon, but what if they had the best interests at heart? These are only the basic level of questions readers will evaluate while reading this trilogy. It gets deeper from there.

As a conclusion, it’s strong. There were a few characters I wish had different endings, but that’s only because I feel different things than other readers will. The entire story is wrapped up, but it is not perfect and happy. Just like life. There are losses in war. The bad guys / girls sometimes win a few battles. People will die. Sin will persist. Hodges covers all the remnants of a long-lasting war that will never be forgotten. I found happy endings for some couples and families, but it was a wonderful balance of humility, acceptance, and tolerance.

If you’re a fantasy fan, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy this trilogy. While you could just read this last book, as Hodges does an excellent job of briefly summarizing pertinent history, you’d lose out on all the beautiful emotions and relationships that lead us to this final epic ending. It’s a quick read despite being either ~400 or ~500 pages for each book, which makes it highly worth it, and then even a little sad when it ends! With over 20 key characters, all easily identifiable and visualized, I couldn’t possibly describe everyone here… but I’ll definitely share my favorite: Maeve is a the strongest, the type of person you’d want to be on your side in any battle. She has the nurturing and loving side to make her appeal even more, but it’s her honesty that is the best.

Definitely give this one a chance if you love complex and multi-generational tales that have surprise connections between characters and history you learn as the story unfolds. Congrats on a superb finish, Hodges!



View all my reviews

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Launch Day Book Blitz: Clouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

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Today is extra special because it’s LAUNCH DAY for CLOUDED BY ENVY, the next amazing young adult fantasy book written by Candace Robinson. I’m thrilled to share my review and key links for readers everywhere to dive into this wonderful story. Isn’t that cover TRULY spectacular! Don’t wait… check out my review below, add it to Goodreads, and visit Amazon today!

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*** MY REVIEW ***

Clouded by EnvyClouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In my quest to become a more well-read and genre-diverse connoisseur of great literature, I often pick up a book that I think will be one thing yet turns out to be something quite different in a wonderfully shocking and engaging way. I’ve read several novels written or co-written by Candace Robinson in the past, but when the opportunity to read her upcoming release, Clouded by Envy, arose, I had to jump on it — initially from the cover alone. What is that!?! I bet you want to know… it’s gorgeous and captivating and peculiar and oddly sensual, don’t you think? Throw in the always-intriguing concept and deadly sin of envy (I’m Roman Catholic, so my repression requires me to love it) and you’ve got all the makings of a fine book. Guess what? It totally lives up to that hype!

I’d classify it as science-fiction, fantasy, young adult, re-appropriation of a few fairy tales, and life advice. There are two worlds. There are twins who were abandoned by their parents. When they’re magically transported to a human environment, and they only look human at certain points in their lives, there’s bound to be a plethora of page-turning scenes, intense thrills, heart-stopping emotions, and a few eye squints — at least for me because I kept finding myself trying to guess how it could possibly end given the different themes encircling this complex story.

Robinson excels at capturing the young adult voice of someone yearning to escape and find whatever’s missing in their heart or mind. She draws you in based on the sadness of what’s happening to a seemingly kind and lovable character, then tosses you to the wolves with a scene so crazy or shocking, you no longer know what to believe. After being tossed around a bit, you develop your own sense of connection and wait for the next shoe to drop. In this case, the characters often forget to wear shoes, so it’s kinda fun to see how that eventually plays out (just including a little side humor so after you read the book, you’ll get what I am saying here).

If you like something different, or something you know well but that’s been turned upside and written from the perspective of a non-human creature, you’ll enjoy this novel. It’s on the shorter side in page count which makes it easy to get through in a few hours one afternoon or evening. It’s also something you can put down and pick up again without feeling lost. The story is told in alternating perspectives from the twin protagonists, but there’s a few other character POV’s sprinkled from time to time so you see what’s happening in totality. What a ride! I look forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts and reactions when it’s officially released in early 2019. I got lucky and received an ARC (thank you) which made me quite happy… this is the 4th or 5th book I’ve read by the author… always leaves me thirsting for the next one.

***

If you’re unfamiliar with Candace Robinson, you should check out the other books I’ve read of hers. I’ve created a dedicated page on my blog where you can see them all!

Candace

***

Title: CLOUDED BY ENVY

Author: Candace Robinson

Pub. Date: February 19, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 215

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks

OVERVIEW

Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

***

Book Trailer:

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https://youtu.be/Xk7Rrpz5VYs

 ***

Exclusive Excerpt!

Bray wasn’t sure how long she had drifted off for, but there was a puddle of wetness against her cheek when she woke up—okay, so it was only drool from herself. Lifting a hand up toward her cheek, she swiped the saliva away and rubbed it on to the hammock. Classy, she thought, but there was already some gathered there anyway.

Remembering the events from earlier, Bray headed straight to the hole and peeked out. She shifted her head from left to right. Nothing. Bray looked up and down—she could see a few bushes had already been planted in the dirt.

Then she saw it: a circular stone bowl filled with water sitting on top of a long thick stem, attached to a circular bottom. A birdbath! Almost giddily, Bray stepped on the ledge of the hole and leaped off, flapping her wings hurriedly to the nearest pink and yellow peach. Opening her jaw wide, she bit into the thin skin. A juicy one. The fruit filled her mouth with delicious pleasure, and she took one more long bite before diving down to the birdbath.

The top of her newfound treasure was a perfect circle with tiny mounds around it resembling hills. Bray landed on the ceramic and bent down to take a seat, before placing her bare feet into the warm water that had been perfectly heated from the shining sun.

Peering down at the clear water, Bray saw no sign of intrusion from other creatures yet. She rotated her head in every direction, as if she would be caught just by thinking about slipping into the water—still no sign of life.

Flicking her braid over her shoulder, Bray pursed her lips together to hide the smile aching to shine against her face and jumped into the water. The splash echoed. Her bare feet scraped the rough bottom, while her dress inflated and then clung to her body as she shot to the surface. She let out a small giggle to herself. It was sad that the only highlight of the past year was hopping into a shallow pool of water with no one around except for her.

She leaned back into the liquid, letting herself float and moving her arms slowly up and down, while swimming in figure-eight circles.

Bray closed her eyes and let the water cover her ears, so it felt like nothing in the world existed, except for the muffled vibrations from the liquid.

A loud booming sounded from above, and her eyelids thrust open, meeting dark brown eyes, light brown skin, and that black bowl hair. Tiny human. Luca.

Freeze, Bray thought to herself, not even blinking her eyes. She held them wide open, thinking he wouldn’t notice her, or maybe he would just assume she was a bird. Even though he was staring at her and had spoken something she didn’t hear clearly.

Nope. That isn’t going to work. He hovered closer, his eyes scrunched halfway closed to examine her more thoroughly. Unable to hold her eyes open any longer, Bray blinked several times.

“What are you?” he asked, genuine amazement creeping into his words, lips slightly parted.

“A bat!” Bray yelled, and she jumped up from the warmth of the water, darting straight for the tree hole.

Breathing heavily, Bray landed inside and collided with the floor. She rolled to her back, running both hands down her face. “Why did I come out without paying attention? I know not to!” Ruth had always told her this.

A quake trembled through the tree, causing shivers to run up and down her spine. What is the little beast doing? Oh no, what if he is trying to chop down the tree? My home—the peaches! Bray didn’t know why she was thinking about stupid peaches when there was another fruit tree directly next door.

Despite the thunderous rumbling, Bray grabbed the needle from underneath her hammock and dodged toward the window. If the little beast thought he could take her down, then he had another thing coming. She would prick his eye—actually, she would poke both of his eyes to protect her and Brenik’s home.

When Bray reached the edge of the window, the sound stopped. She peeped her head out of the hole, right as a face met hers, his black hair falling forward over a hazel eye—an eye she was going to poke. Startled, she jumped back instead of toward him.

A broad smile crossed the little beast’s face. “Hello.”

Freezing once again, until she remembered that the staying-still-as-a-statue strategy didn’t work in the birdbath, she meekly said, “Hi.”

Bray brought the needle up toward his smiling face, just in case.

“Are you planning on sewing something?” He tilted his head at the needle.

“Yeah, your eyeball.” She gave him a hard glare.

“What?” he asked while laughing hysterically.

He was laughing? Not scared? Bray brought the needle closer. “Yeah, you need to leave and never come back. This is my home.”

“No. Technically, it’s my brother’s home,” he said, still smiling.

“What brother? You mean your dad out there who was planting this morning?”

Luca shook his head, and she didn’t miss the wince before he spoke. “No, that’s my brother, Wes. I don’t have a mom or dad.”

Crestfallen, Bray lowered the needle. “Oh. Me neither. I only have a brother, but he will be gone for a while.” She paused and glanced at the note Brenik had left behind, her chest tightening. Then she shrugged it off and shifted her gaze back to the boy. “By the way, my name is Brayora, but you can call me Bray.” For some reason, she wasn’t worried anymore about the human.

“I’m Luca Duran.” He plopped his thin fingers on the edge of the hole.

“Yeah, I heard your name this morning, little beast. I mean, Luca.” She thought little beast suited him better than Luca.

 ***

About Candace:

My name is Candace Robinson. I’m just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. My days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books for my blog, Literary Dust. I live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it’s 30 degrees and the next it’s 70 degrees! I live with my husband and awesome daughter!

You can also follow her on her review blog Literary Dust

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details: All International

1 winner will receive an 10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

Ends on February 28th at Midnight EST!

Giveaway Link:

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2895/?

CLOUDED BY ENVY

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Queens by Patrick Hodges

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Queens (Wielders of Arantha, #2)Queens by Patrick Hodges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you read the blurb about ‘Queens’ by Patrick Hodges, it tells you the book is a “cosmic game of chess” — which is a perfect one-liner about the second book in this fantasy / sci-fi series, Wielders of Arantha, published by Creativia. Although this isn’t my typical genre, I took a chance on the first book and enjoyed it so much, I took on the second this month. I didn’t want to forget anything about the characters, plot, or imaginary world Hodges has created, so it was necessary!

The series focuses on 5 or 6 different groups of people some 700 years in the future on a planet, Elystra, that is most definitely not Earth. Earth, as we know it, really doesn’t exist anymore due to an alien species, the Jegg. Each of the groups has their own culture, and they’re battling one another to secure their own safety and to stay true to their god, Arantha, who goes by a few different names. The key storyline that connects everyone besides the quest for freedom or protection is how a tribe of women keep any female children born to them but return male children to the father who helped created them. The women go on a sojourn from time to time to ensure the future of their race, but this time, there’s a lot more at stake.

After I finished the first book, I new I was a fan of Hodges writing style and storytelling abilities. Although it’s definitely a fantasy novel ripe with primary characters ranging in age from 13 to 50, there are major components leaning toward the mysterious, romance, and young adult realms. At the same time, although there are a few somewhat intimate scenes (minor in my opinion), the love is seen through character interactions, voice, and dialog. Women bond to protect their race and a few trustworthy newcomers. Men bond because they know they need to stick together to fight a common enemy. Children rely on strangers to play parental roles when their own have been killed in battle. Friendship crosses species lines. There’s a lot at play in this novel, and in the series as a whole, which make it intense, captivating, and tragic. It has everything I expect in the normal genres I read which makes it a complete surprise and welcome addition to my reading list.

Between the quest to locate all the stones, learning the history of how wielding (ability to cast lightning from your hands — okay, it’s more than that, but you have to read to understand it all) developed in different cultures, and genealogical research to discover all the connections between the different tribes or lands, it’s a very well-crafted plot full of secrets, surprises, and scary drama. I usually take a week to read books like this, but I devoured it in two days this time. For the most part, it doesn’t get technical or very sci-fi, which was probably good for me; however, there are definitely those moments which will appeal to mega fans of the genre. I see it as a cross between Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Hunger Games, and any contemporary fiction / modern family drama novel. It should appeal to a wide variety, and if you’re not a fantasy fan, I wouldn’t say no just because this is in that genre. You might be surprised by how quickly the series draws you in.

I will definitely read the third and final installment in the trilogy, probably in January, as I don’t want to go too long and forget some of the details in the relationships and alliances. Although it wraps up a big piece of the storyline, a clever cliffhanger closes out this second book… hence why I must read the next one soon. The chess board has changed, and the game is now being played in a different way. I can’t wait to find out who is behind the scenes… I’m thinking it’s gonna go down like it did in Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. There’s more to this chess board than we know, I’m quite confident. Bring it on, Hodges, where’s the next installment!? Oh, that’s right… available on Amazon right now: Endgame.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Clouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

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Clouded by EnvyClouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In my quest to become a more well-read and genre-diverse connoisseur of great literature, I often pick up a book that I think will be one thing yet turns out to be something quite different in a wonderfully shocking and engaging way. I’ve read several novels written or co-written by Candace Robinson in the past, but when the opportunity to read her upcoming release, Clouded by Envy, arose, I had to jump on it — initially from the cover alone. What is that!?! I bet you want to know… it’s gorgeous and captivating and peculiar and oddly sensual, don’t you think? Throw in the always-intriguing concept and deadly sin of envy (I’m Roman Catholic, so my repression requires me to love it) and you’ve got all the makings of a fine book. Guess what? It totally lives up to that hype!

I’d classify it as science-fiction, fantasy, young adult, re-appropriation of a few fairy tales, and life advice. There are two worlds. There are twins who were abandoned by their parents. When they’re magically transported to a human environment, and they only look human at certain points in their lives, there’s bound to be a plethora of page-turning scenes, intense thrills, heart-stopping emotions, and a few eye squints — at least for me because I kept finding myself trying to guess how it could possibly end given the different themes encircling this complex story.

Robinson excels at capturing the young adult voice of someone yearning to escape and find whatever’s missing in their heart or mind. She draws you in based on the sadness of what’s happening to a seemingly kind and lovable character, then tosses you to the wolves with a scene so crazy or shocking, you no longer know what to believe. After being tossed around a bit, you develop your own sense of connection and wait for the next shoe to drop. In this case, the characters often forget to wear shoes, so it’s kinda fun to see how that eventually plays out (just including a little side humor so after you read the book, you’ll get what I am saying here).

If you like something different, or something you know well but that’s been turned upside and written from the perspective of a non-human creature, you’ll enjoy this novel. It’s on the shorter side in page count which makes it easy to get through in a few hours one afternoon or evening. It’s also something you can put down and pick up again without feeling lost. The story is told in alternating perspectives from the twin protagonists, but there’s a few other character POV’s sprinkled from time to time so you see what’s happening in totality. What a ride! I look forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts and reactions when it’s officially released in early 2019. I got lucky and received an ARC (thank you) which made me quite happy… this is the 4th or 5th book I’ve read by the author… always leaves me thirsting for the next one.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.