Tag Archive | Book review

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Witch-Hunter Trilogy by K.S. Marsden

 

The Shadow Rises – Book #1

The Shadow RisesWhen a new witch threat rises, only Hunter Astley can stop them…

In the face of dark magic and evil witches, a secret witch-hunting society works tirelessly to keep them at bay. The Malleus Maleficarum Council have strict rules and practises for eradicating magic.

Due to their work, witches have been almost forgotten, relegated to myth; but rumours are starting to emerge of a new power that will throw the world into chaos.

As the only 7th generation witch-hunter, Hunter Astley is the best the MMC has to offer. With the help of his colleagues, it’s a race to track down this new threat and stop them… in any way he can.

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My Review:

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!

 


The Shadow Reigns – Book #2

The Shadow ReignsThe 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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My Review:

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 Shadow Falls – Book #3

The Shadow FallsHunter 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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My Review:

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!

 

The Author:
35486042_602790366769190_1403381745084006400_nKelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.

Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

D: Revenge Hits London by Chris Turnbull

 
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The events in Whitby have left all those involved shaken. With a murderer still at large, and his target believing him to have been arrested, there is only a matter of time before their paths cross again.

Humiliated by the woman he loves, D seeks revenge, and will stop at nothing until he sees Victoria pay for the torment she has brought upon him. With Detective Matthews out of the way, his plan surely can’t fail.

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My Review:

A fabulous follow up to D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret.

Victoria and Albert have returned to London, after the events in Whitby, and they’ve taken Tom with them and given him a home. They all believe that the killer has been caught. Unfortunately, they’re wrong and he’s on their trail.

Victoria’s sister, Lucy, is staying with them following the death of her husband and her visits, on her own, to a church and a public house give D the opportunity to befriend her, as a means of getting back at Victoria.

This book, like the previous one, is written mainly from Victoria and D’s points of view, along with chapters from Tom, Lucy and Detective Matthews. This brings insight into the thoughts and motives behind the characters actions and allows you to get to know them.

At the risk of repeating myself, I was once again walking in Victoria’s shoes, this time, through a dangerous 1900’s London.

Another great book from Chris Turnbull, with an unexpected twist at the end… and the possibility of more to come in this series.

 

About The Author:

13781487Chris has always been a keen reader and writer, he loves the feeling of been drawn into a good book and the escapism into another world after a long day at work.

In 2013, after finishing his first full story Chris decided that he wanted to get it professionally edited in the hope to print it out for himself. After very little persuasion Chris finally released time travel story The Vintage Coat on Amazon and had a successful book launch in Leeds.

Chris was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in England.

The eldest of two sons Chris originally wanted to become a dog groomer and trained in this field before working on a farm in the grooming room as well as helping with the dog hydrotherapy.

After a few years, Chris moved on and found a job at Bradford University working with PhD students in the Biology labs. Chris enjoyed nearly 7 years there before moving over to York University to take on a similar, be it more senior role.

Chris now lives on the outskirts of York with his partner and their Jack Russell terrier.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret by Chris Turnbull

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LESS than 3 years after the release of Bram Stokers novel Dracula, Whitby is tormented by a diehard fan who sees Dracula as his role model; and it isn’t long before women are being murdered, and the residents of Whitby are scared to leave their homes.

WHEN a young lady from London, who has travelled to Whitby with her new husband, is targeted, it is a race against time to catch this cloaked monster before he kills again.

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My Review:

I don’t often read historical fiction, but the cover and blurb (Whitby and Dracula) caught my attention on this one.

From the beginning of the book, I was transported back in time to join Victoria and her husband, Albert, as they spend a week in Whitby for a belated honeymoon, and for Alberts political career, which leaves Victoria on her own quite often. Victoria is completely unaware that she has caught the attention of a disturbed and dangerous killer, who believes that he is in love with her and that she shares those feelings.

It’s a race against time as Detective Matthews tries to catch the killer before Victoria becomes his next victim.

Being told mainly from Victoria and D’s points of view, helps you to understand the danger that Victoria is in, as well as adding insight to D’s deranged mind. There’s also some occasional input from Detective Matthews, and from Tom, a helpful local boy working at the hotel, who Victoria takes a shine to.

The characters are well rounded and believable. My favourite was Tom, who despite being an orphan was a polite and lovable boy.

This book took me on a suspenseful journey into the 1900s and had me walking in Victoria shoes, rather than watching the action at a distance.

(I’m glad I read the prequel, D: Darkest Beginnings, first)

 

About The Author:

13781487Chris has always been a keen reader and writer, he loves the feeling of been drawn into a good book and the escapism into another world after a long day at work.

In 2013, after finishing his first full story Chris decided that he wanted to get it professionally edited in the hope to print it out for himself. After very little persuasion Chris finally released time travel story The Vintage Coat on Amazon and had a successful book launch in Leeds.

Chris was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in England.

The eldest of two sons Chris originally wanted to become a dog groomer and trained in this field before working on a farm in the grooming room as well as helping with the dog hydrotherapy.

After a few years, Chris moved on and found a job at Bradford University working with PhD students in the Biology labs. Chris enjoyed nearly 7 years there before moving over to York University to take on a similar, be it more senior role.

Chris now lives on the outskirts of York with his partner and their Jack Russell terrier.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

D: Darkest Beginnings by Chris Turnbull

(Prequel to Whitby’s Darkest Secret)

 
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What makes a young boy turn to the darkness?

What turns an honest man into a monster?

In this prequel to Whitby’s Darkest Secret, journey back and learn about the life of the boy, who grew up to become known simply as ‘D’

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My Review:

D: Darkest Beginnings is the background story of the man known only as D!

It’s a quick and easy read chronicling the life and misfortunes of a young, nameless, orphan boy, left to the harsh regime of a workhouse at the tender age of five.

He’s bullied from day one in the workhouse, and by various antagonist as he grows up, and then finally hit by tragedy the day before his wedding.

I will definitely be reading the other books in the series, and have already started D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret, as I am curious to know what becomes of this young man!

 

About The Author:

13781487Chris has always been a keen reader and writer, he loves the feeling of been drawn into a good book and the escapism into another world after a long day at work.

In 2013, after finishing his first full story Chris decided that he wanted to get it professionally edited in the hope to print it out for himself. After very little persuasion Chris finally released time travel story The Vintage Coat on Amazon and had a successful book launch in Leeds.

Chris was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in England.

The eldest of two sons Chris originally wanted to become a dog groomer and trained in this field before working on a farm in the grooming room as well as helping with the dog hydrotherapy.

After a few years, Chris moved on and found a job at Bradford University working with PhD students in the Biology labs. Chris enjoyed nearly 7 years there before moving over to York University to take on a similar, be it more senior role.

Chris now lives on the outskirts of York with his partner and their Jack Russell terrier.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Amazon

 

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Knowing His Madness by Valarie Savage Kinney

Secrets of Windy Springs Book 4

 

519oqwvvhzlLife hasn’t gone the way Dashiel Winston once thought it would. His ability has destroyed his marriage, wreaked havoc on his mind, and left him weighted by the burdens of his past decisions. At fifty-seven, he lives alone with little company beyond the voices vying for attention in his head. For too many years, he’s buried himself in the fantasy life he’s created; everyone who knows him sees him as the flamboyant, addled pirate, Captain Dash. He’s loving, he’s jovial… and his heart is about to break from the terrible pain it carries.

When his deepest secrets are forced out in the open and his most treasured relationship threatened, he’s left with a choice: come clean about the decades of lies he’s built his life upon, or risk losing both his family and his sanity.

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My Review:

This is the book I’ve wanted to read since starting the Windy Springs series – the life of my favourite character, Captain Dash, as told by the man himself.

In this book Dash is, as always, a multi-layered and remarkable man. We get an insight into what makes him tick and into his struggles with mental illness.

I am always happy to return to Windy Springs and the wonderful quirky characters.

I love the way the author has used her magical world to give an honest look at mental illness and hopefully help to diminish the stigma surrounding it – Well done, Valarie!

I highly recommend this book, and the series.

 

About The Author:

27654394_1904237963158226_6070796649316661387_nValarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. Author of Heckled, Slither, Just Hold On, and the Secrets of Windy Springs series, as well as short stories included in various anthologies.

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The Hairy Hand by Robin Bennett

the hairy hand

 

the hairy hand coverA scary adventure for 8 – 12 year olds, full of jokes, magical familiars and a Dickensian cast.

When Septimus inherits a magical, treasure-finding Hairy Hand from his uncle, life suddenly becomes a lot more exciting – and dangerous!

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Introducing Sept, the awful Plogs, the Village of Nowhere and the letter that changed everything

When Septimus Plog was small he liked to play in puddles outside his house. Sometimes he would look up and see his mother watching him from the kitchen window. He would stop and wave at her with all his little might … then wait; but she never waved back. Not once.

He always knew he was very different from everyone else in the village and Septimus often wondered if that was why his mother seemed not to like him very much.

For starters, he had this name. Septimus (Sept, for short). Everyone else his age was called Garp, Darg or Dorgk or Blaarg. Good, honest names that sounded like you were sneezing into custard or you had swallowed something pointy.

Secondly, he read books – by the sack, when he could get his hands on them. As far as he knew, no-one else in his village read anything except graffiti. And quite how Sept knew how to read was a mystery: there were no schools for a hundred miles, no teachers and, more to the point, Sept couldn’t remember ever not being able to read. Printed words in books just popped into his head, as if someone was telling the story out loud.

Unfortunately, in the Plog household there were only two books: the one he kept secret from his parents; and the one they kept a secret from him. Sept had only ever glimpsed it when he’d come home once and caught his mother staring at the cover as if she dared not open it. It was a small book with a black cover, like dead bats’ wings, and no title. Something about the book scared Sept very much indeed. His mother kept the Black Book in her apron pocket.

The other one – his secret book – he had read so many times he knew it almost by heart. It was called, How to be Happy, and it had twelve chapters, each with a simple idea for looking on the bright side of life. It was Sept’s most treasured possession, one that was just his. He hid it away in his room under a floorboard – because where he came from, possessions were just things other people hadn’t got around to stealing yet.

 

My Review:

I enjoyed this humorous and moderately gruesome read which, I think, will appeal to its target audience.

Septimus Plog, or Sept for short, doesn’t have the best upbringing and doesn’t fit in in his village. An unexpected inheritance from his uncle, a powerful magician, changes that.

Sept embarks on a journey, not only to find his late uncles home, but also to find himself and to stand up for what is right.

There’s an amazing cast of ghastly characters, including Sept’s parents, Plog the Sneaker and Gertrude!

A fun and adventurous fantasy story of good versus bad, determination and resisting temptation.

 

Author Information:

7020809Robin Bennett is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children, sometimes under the nom de plume R.S Harding, and a few more on the swashbuckling world of business: How to Make a Good Living Running Your Own Business, Kicking the Property Ladder and Start up Smart, all published by Harriman House.

In 1997, Monster Books was founded as a way for Robin to sound moderately respectable when he was selling his books and also to allow full control over his work.

Robin has spoken at conferences on fantasy literature. His first book for young adults, Picus the Thief, won the Writer’s News Indie Published Book of the Year Award in 2012.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018

 
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Plaisted Publishing House and The Ghostly Writes Crew have done it again, bringing us yet another collection of haunted tales and spooky poems.

From ghostly encounters to haunted carnival rides, wicked forests and ghoulish manors, there is something inside for everyone.

So curl up beneath your blanket and get ready to experience all the spine-tingling encounters hidden inside….

The Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018

 
 

 

Your Authors for 2018 are:-

C L Williams, Karen Mossman, Adam Mitchell, Dan McAteer, M E Hembroff, Chandra Trulove Fry, Kyrena Lynch, Wendy Steele, Michael Lynes, Eve Merrick-Williams, Adele Marie Park, Jane Risdon, Mary Woldering, K M McFarland, R M Demeester, C A Keith, Cassandra Jones, M J Mallon, Claire Plaisted, Pamela Silva, J G Clay, Michelle Hughes & Mara Ritsma

The book is written in various English Grammar and Spelling from around the world!!

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My Review:

An enjoyable mix of short stories, as is usual with anthologies, I found some of them more enjoyable than others. Most were well written and I will be keeping an eye out for books by their authors. Others were a bit confusing, and one or two seemed to be a small part of a much longer story.

My favourite stories include:
The Gift by Jane Risdon
At Midnight by Chandra Trulove Fry
and
The Basement by Wendy Steele

The ebook is free at most online retailers