Books I Read In May 2016

The Shadow Rises

by K.S. Marsden

I read the three books in the Witch-Hunter series back to back.
The Shadow Rises drew me in after the first few pages and wouldn’t let go so I moved straight onto The Shadow Reigns, quickly followed by The Shadow Falls.
These books now make up one of my favourite trilogies!


The Shadow Rises is an awesome start to an original and exciting series, that has a new take on witches. It’s a fast-paced, fun and enjoyable read, with action and intrigue plus an unexpected and surprising twist.


Hunter is a strong character, he is arrogant but also shows enough fear and doubt to not be unbearable. James and Sophie’s characters are well developed and well suited to their roles within the story.


There wasn’t a huge cliffhanger at the end of book 1, just a satisfying ending that made me want to continue with the story!

Witches are real, and to be blunt, they’re all black-hearted, and evil. These are not wiccans; witches are a different breed that use magic with devastating effect.
Charged with stopping the witches, taking whatever measures necessary, there are witch-hunters, all reporting to the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC). For hundreds of years witches have been persecuted and when the powerful Shadow Witch rises again, they have their opportunity for revenge.

The best the MMC has to offer, the talented seventh-generation witch-hunting Hunter Astley has his own part to play. In his own way.

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The Shadow Reigns

by K.S. Marsden

The second book in the series starts with Hunter recovering from the revelations and after-effects of book ones’ ending. It moves at a slightly slower pace, but with more descriptive writing. The details of the magic make it completely believable.

K.S. Marsden continues to develop the main characters, allowing them to grow with their actions and circumstances. I enjoyed getting to know Hunter much better in this book.


The ending of this book was so amazing that I was reaching for the third book as I closed this one.

The world has been thrown into darkness by the Shadow Witch’s revolution. The witch-hunters are scattered, but still strong. The race is now on to gather allies and win the war. New enemies will arise; loyalties will be pushed to the limit. And an important question will be answered: can a witch-hunter that practices magic ever be trusted, or will he be persecuted? It is said that ‘love conquers all’, but this twisted love must stay secret, locked away with the past.

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The Shadow Falls

by K.S. Marsden

Book three picks up where the Shadow reigns leaves off, with Hunter hiding from the witches and searching for the Benandanti.

The fast-paced action from book one was back in this book, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me on my toes.


Hunter’s personality evolves and becomes more complex as the story continues. A number of new, well-developed, characters are introduced in this book including Hunters son, his new love interest, a demon and the monks.


This book and the last few chapters were the perfect finale to the trilogy!


The plot, throughout all three books, was unpredictable and kept me guessing the entire time!

Hunter Astley has always known that he is different: being a witch-hunter that can use magic has sealed his fate.
He must destroy the Shadow Witch once and for all, with the help of some unlikely allies.

We delve even deeper into the world of the Malleus Maleficarum; into myth, rumour and history that refuses to stay in the past.

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Hellbeast

by Matthew W. Harrill

Take a trip to Hell in the final? installment of The ARC Chronicles.

This action-packed book with many twists, turns, and unexpected surprises is a well-written and awesome ending to the trilogy.


I’m not sure what I can say about Hellbeast, that I haven’t already said about Hellbounce and Hellborne.
“The graphically detailed descriptions don’t just let you visualise the scene, they draw you in and make you a part of it.”
“The interesting and dimensional characters were strong, believable and easy to love… or hate.”


I have enjoyed reading all three books and have loved being a part of the adventure.

 

The fate of the world is balanced on a knife-edge. Despite everything Madden and Eva have been through to prevent it, the ARC Council is in disarray, demons roam the Earth. The Apocalypse is closer than ever. The solution couldn’t be further from her grasp.

Enter the final chapter of The ARC Chronicles, where Eva throws off the yolk of personal tragedy and follows her destiny to the one place she doesn’t want to go, the one place she cannot hope to avoid.

Hellbeast: Heroes don’t always walk in the light.

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The Felix Chronicles: Five Days in January

by R.T. Lowe

This second book in The Felix Chronicles is shorter than the first and ends with a real cliff hanger.

All the main characters from book one are back, and their personalities continue to grow.
The story is, once again, well-paced with plenty of twists, turns, intrigue and suspense to keep you guessing, and the detailed descriptions place you right in the heart of the action.


It’s an exciting and fun book, and I’m looking forward to reading book three.


I received an eCopy of Five Days in January from R.T. Lowe in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Felix and Allison return from winter break with hopes of settling into the comfortable rhythms of college life only to find Portland College hasn’t escaped the wave of senseless violence sweeping across the land, from the malls of Minnesota to a small town in northern Maine. Amidst the chaos, a political movement rises, fueled by the turmoil threatening to tear the country apart. As the public’s discontent reaches a final tipping point, a new hope emerges from an unexpected figure, a man offering the promise of peace and security—the prospect of ‘freedom from fear’. When the line that separates allies from enemies blurs and good and evil becomes a matter of perspective, Felix must make a choice. But as the gears of a 2,000-year-old prophecy grind inexorably to the future, can Felix choose his own path, or is free will as illusory as the salvation promised by a man destined to set the world aflame?

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Slither

by Valarie Savage Kinney

Much more than a horror story…

A fascinating story that kept me on the edge of my seat and was impossible to put down.
The well thought out and unique plot twisted it’s way through this well-written book.


The main characters were well-fleshed out, each had their own flaws and abusive pasts to deal with, but worked wonderfully together to help and heal each other.


The villains were dark and menacing characters and easy to hate.

 

 

We’re often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She’s hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?

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Criminal Kind: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

I felt like I was holidaying with some good friends in the third book in the series. I joined Charlie and Marian, on their honeymoon cruise, which included an unexpected, and mysterious death.

Marian and Charlie are well-developed characters and there is a wonderful chemistry between them.


The murder ‘weapon’ in this story was quite creative and well thought out.


I had no idea who the murderer was this time, or their motive, until near the end.


These books could be read as a stand-alone mystery because you are not left hanging, but you would miss seeing how Charlie & Marian’s relationship has evolved since the start of the first book, and also the developing mystery of the paper hearts.

It’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway at sea: Caribbean breezes, clear blue skies, passionate nights, and murder? Not exactly what Detective Charlie McClung and Marian had in mind for their honeymoon. When one of their fellow passengers is murdered on her 35th wedding anniversary, Charlie and Marian get pulled into the investigation. Who would want to kill poor Tammy Ferguson in such a brutal way? As Charlie uncovers more sordid details about Tammy and her husband, Peter, it becomes clear that someone else has found the same skeletons in the Ferguson’s closet and Tammy has paid the price. Is Peter next?

Trapped on the ship with an insidious killer, shadows seem more ominous and even the most innocent faces seem sinister. Has Charlie inadvertently put Marian in harm’s way? How long does Charlie have before the hunter becomes the hunted?

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Sins of My Youth: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

Each one of the books in The Charlie McClung Mysteries can be read as a standalone, but the storyline is better appreciated if read in order.
Reading these books is like joining a group of old friends and helping them unravel the mystery.
The characters are well developed and colourful, and the descriptions and detail draw you in to the story.
Along with the new murders this book also continues the mystery of the paper hearts.

Secrets, lies, and revenge. What a deadly combination! When the owner of a local strip club is found with his throat slit, Detective Charlie McClung has only one obvious suspect: his wife’s best friend, Joan. Even though Charlie finds her clutching a bloody knife while standing over the body, he has been around long enough to know that crime scenes aren’t always as they first appear. But as other suspects become victims themselves, Charlie must delve deeper into Joan’s dark and seedy past to prove her innocence.

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Norma Jean’s School of Witchery: Book One: Jewel

by Rose Montague

I enjoyed reading this fun and action filled book, and liked the character connections to Rose Montague’s other series, Three J’amigos.

I quickly became attached to Jewel and followed her as she dealt with the trials of starting a new school, making new friends and discovering the extent of her magic powers.


Jewels new friends are a diverse and interesting group. I would like to get to know some of them better and hope we get to see more of them in future books.


Jewel and the main cast of supporting characters are dimensional, with their own strengths, weaknesses and personalities.

Jewel has a problem. She’s in a witch school and can’t get the most basic spells to work. Her true magical talents must remain hidden. That might be hard to do with a killer on the loose. Murder, mayhem, and magic with a little romance along the way.

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A Friend in Need

by Les Lynam, Tim Hemlin & Chess Desalls

Having read, and loved, all the books (so far) in Les Lynam’s Time Will Tell series and the first two books from The Call to Search Everywhen by Chess Desalls, I was over the moon when I was offered this book to read.

A Friend in Need is a brief but interesting insight into what happens when a couple of the characters from each of the above series meet in an alternative dimension/timeline.


It was well-written, as can be expected with three authors working on one book, and the crossover between the books worked well and seamlessly. It’s a wonderful and fun interlude for readers of any of the series involved… I would have loved it to have been longer!


I have not yet read Tim Hemlin’s The Wastelanders, but I was fascinated by the brief introduction to that world and will be reading it as soon as possible!

A Friend in Need is a short story collaboration between three different YA authors who combine their talents to create an intersection in an apocalyptic world populated with characters from their respective novels. LX and Jane (from Lynam’s Time Will Tell series) time-crash into Tim Hemlin’s The Wastelanders. Their only hope of returning to their own world requires help from Bear, Caballito, and the time-witch. Enter Calla and Valcas, (time-travelers from Chess Desalls’ Call to Search Everywhen series,) who land in the wastelands while conducting a time-search of their own. Will the travelers be able to return, or are they stuck in the wastelands forever?

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The Lost Shepherd

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

A compelling, short introduction to the Reacher Series.

I’ve read two shorts (edit: make that 3) and the novel, The Running Game, from this series and have enjoyed them all. I’m looking forward to reading many more books by L.E. Fitzpatrick.

In a world devastated by corruption, Father Darcy has lost his faith. After letting down the very people he had pledged to protect, he decides to take a pilgrimage across the dangerous English countryside in an attempt to find his mission again.

There he meets men hungry for his blood. A vicious, relentless landscape. And two boys more dangerous than anything he has ever seen before. But can he save these children, or will they his cause change forever?

This is a Reacher short story set before the events of The Running Game.

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Safe Haven

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

Another quick, easy and fascinating read from the Reacher Series.
This one gives some background into Rachel.


I’ve enjoyed all the short stories in this series, as well as The Running Game and am looking forward to reading Border Lines.

It’s Christmas time and snow is falling over Red Forest. Isobel is nine years old, she is running with her father and sister, trying to escape the gunfire tearing through the trees. Civil war is erupting and the family are right in the middle of the battlefield. With nowhere else to go they have to somehow make it our of the forest, but can they all make it out alive?

Safe Haven is a short companion piece to the novel The Running Game. Set two decades earlier this is the story of where the Reacher girls came from

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Family

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

Another short, but entertaining, story from the Reacher Series.
This one follows on from The Running Game, which I enjoyed immensely.

Rachel and the Smith Brothers are on the run, trying to escape the dangers they left in the city.

But when they stop off for supplies they suddenly find themselves in a whole new kind of trouble.

Rachel realises the true nature of the men she is travelling with, but where exactly does she fit in?

This is a companion short story to the Reacher Series set between The Running Game and Border Lines. This story does not contain any major spoilers to the main series and can be read independently.

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Raining Down Rules

by B.K. Rivers

A fun, fast and entertaining read, with a depth of emotion I didn’t expect.
There’s an interesting cast of well-developed characters, and there’s some great chemistry between them.


The ending was unpredictable and I wondered, whilst reading, who she would choose (I was happy with her decision)!


Mainly written from Jemma and Jordans point of view, I think it’a shame we didn’t get more from Vic’s point of view as well.

 

 

Jemma Bowers hasn’t kissed anyone in over a thousand days. She knows—she’s counted.

For twenty-year-old Jemma, rules are not meant to be broken…even if she’s the one who created them. Friendships have boundaries, relationships mean trouble, and don’t even get her started on sex. Haunted by the death of her mother and her father’s abandonment, Jemma finds herself hungry for something meaningful and permanent, but is afraid of what may happen if she pursues it.

Jordan Capshaw can’t fight his addiction. Not even if it will cost him his career…

When Jemma finds Jordan drunk and barefoot in the street, she convinces him to get in her car. Aside from the fact he’s the lead singer of her favorite band and pretty much the rock star of her dreams, she quickly realizes his addiction is a monster neither of them can control.

Who knew choosing between a rock star and a fireman could be so difficult?

Emotions run high as Jemma soon finds herself caught between the troubled rock star and her growing affections for Vic Harper, a swoon-worthy firefighter from her past. But when her grandmother passes away, leaving her with no other family, Jemma’s world falls apart.

To save herself from further heartbreak, she risks it all by breaking her own rules, and putting her heart on the line.

After all, the heart just might be the biggest rule breaker of them all.

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Girlie and the War of the Wasps

by Claire Plaisted

A thoroughly enjoyable book, for children of all ages.

The story is adventurous and interesting, and the illustrations were delightful.
I liked how the ‘lessons’ in healthy eating, bullying and discrimination were worked into the story without being preachy!

40% OF SALES GOING TO ‘CHASING A CURE FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES.’
Girlie is a young blue ladybug who sees her best friend kidnapped. Venturing after her, she discovers some naughty wasps who need to learn about healthy eating. Along the way, Girlie meets many different characters, some who are helpful and some who aren’t.

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The Sweet Ones

by David Moles

A short snapshot of life for a small group of people during a zombie outbreak.

It’s a quick read with some suspense and a bit of a twist.
However, the story is too short to get to know the characters and I didn’t feel any attachment for any of them. This also made it difficult to understand the reasoning behind some of their actions.

The Bad People Are Coming

Can five year old Tommy and his family survive a zombie attack by barricading themselves into an old house?

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Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance

by Tanille Edwards

Jordan and Justine’s Weekend Adventures is a lovely little educational book.
Young children will learn lots of facts about different animals.
The emphasis is definitely on educating rather than entertaining!

 

 

 

Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures® for Wildlife Alliance brings children right into the center of animal life at a wildlife conservation center. Jordan and Justine use their magical powers to explore the world of dolphins, to find out how laws can protect wildlife, and to learn what it means to be a mammal. Perfect for children ages 7 to 9. By Tanille Edwards and Latoya Edwards

2016 is the year to take a stand for Wildlife!

There are animals that need our help. Author, Tanille Edwards and publishing company, Fire Flies Entertainment have partnered with the national organization Wildlife Alliance to share 50% of the proceeds from each Wildlife book from the Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures series sold to the organization

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