The Magician’s Workshop, Vol. 1 by Christopher Hansen and J. R. Fehr #RBRT

the_magicians_workshop_1

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

Genre(s): Sci-Fi & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
Teen & YA > Sci-Fi & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
Series: The Magician’s Workshop, # 1
Length: 216 pages
Release date: 2016-11-08

 

Teaser


As he scrambled up onto the trunk of a giant fallen tree, Kai noticed Talia sneak away and duck behind a large bush. He could tell by the way she was moving that she was crafting some kind of projection. This one’s taking her a long time, Kai thought as he and the others played.

“Hey, what masterpiece you workin’ on?” Kai yelled at her.

“Be patient,” she called back. “It’s something new I’ve been practising.”

Yes! This is going to be great. He could feel it.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to a group of kids living in the magical islands of O’Ceea. Most of them are dreaming of receiving their colour, being accepted at the Magician’s Workshop, i.e. being allowed to officially create projections.

With The Magician’s Workshop, Volume 1, authors Hansen and Fehr have created a wonderful fantasy story not only for teens and young adults. It is a very enjoyable and compelling read, drawing you in as you learn more about Kai and the other kids and their clans. Hansen and Fehr carefully elaborated the characters, and their stories and interactions, still leaving the readers room for imagination; I simply adore the blue wallaroo. I was drawn rather close to the kids – it was fun being an invisible friend. The characters are of sufficient depth, believable with their flaws and virtues; the authors’ care for each of them shows. The story is very nicely woven and has a wonderful flow. Now I am eager to read volume 2!

This is a book for you if you like magic, urban fantasy, believable and very likeable characters, and/or the teen and young adult genre.

Recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the authors

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday.
“Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.”
Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible

 

Connect with the authors:

Website:  www.oceea.com
Amazon:  J. R. Fehr

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Magician’s Workshop?  Or – if you did not yet read The Magician’s Workshop – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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Kima by A. H. Amin

kima

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (pdf format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Christmas Eve 1928 gave birth to a yearly phenomenon in South Africa. A herd of false killer whales were found beached upon the shore. It has also given birth to the story of two young children who meet an old woman named Kima. Kima somehow knows why this has happened, but that’s not all she knows. The children, Alex and Alice, realize that there is more to this woman than what meets the eye, and ear. She will reveal to them a tale, a mysterious story she claims was passed on to her by a mythical Black Seagull.

Derived from both historic tales and figures, Kima is a fictional character portrayed in a way that makes her become real.

Genre(s): Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales
Series: n.a.
Length: 140 pages
Release date: 2016-11-03

 

Teaser


She gazed at the small child and she saw her feelings through the little girl’s gestures; it was the same way she had felt when she had looked at the birds earlier that day. Alice met the same eyes that were inspecting her. Noticing the odd way the old woman was looking at her, she stopped biting her nails.

‘It’s not your fault child’ the old woman said.

‘Don’t worry, Kima can tell.’


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Alice and Alex, two white children in South Africa. After more or less falling over false killer whales beached on the shore they meet Kima – a wise woman who tells them an unforgettable story.

With Kima, A. H. Amin has created a remarkable story of two children and a wise woman. Kima’s story, told to her by the Black Seagull, leaves an impression – not only on Alice and Alex; I could hear her voice in my mind. The tale of courageous allies and their endeavour to save the world is beautiful. It is a good read, drawing you close to Kima, Alice, Alex, and the tale. Respect for nature should be on our minds, listening instead of being indifferent. A. H. Amin was inspired by an article about suicide whales on the beaches of South Africa, he did some research on whales and learned that whales use the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate. ‘What if a magnetic field generated by a different source could influence and affect whales?’ Kima, Alice, and Alex are of sufficient depth – as well as believable. The story has a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like mythology and folk tales, as well as nature and food for thought.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence :mrgreen:
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

A. H. Amin was born in Iraq, and he had lived most of his life in Kuwait. He studied dentistry in Emirates in his first years and then he continued in Egypt.

He had first came across to his talent when he had met a group of students in Emirates who were discussing the making of a movie. After seeing how his ideas had impressed them, he started to take a little interest in literature.

He started finally after he came up with the idea of a new fiction thriller book, Psychs, which was his first published book, after he received good criticism about his new idea.

At present he continues to write the Psychs’ series and planning for the next one.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Kima?  Or – if you did not yet read Kima – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Chameleon by Zoe Kalo

chameleon

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…



17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.

When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…

Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?

Genre(s): Children’s eBooks > Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Scary Stories
Teen & Young Adult > Horror
Children’s Books > Sci-Fi & Fantasy > Spine-Chilling Horror
Series: n.a.
Length: 187 pages
Release date: 2017-02-02

 

Teaser


Rubia said something else, but by then I’d turned my face to the call of the waterfall and wasn’t listening anymore. For an instant, a terrible sensation gripped me, as if the sweet-smelling flowers had suddenly wilted and rotted. I was spiraling down, down. then hands, pulling me up.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 17-year-old Paloma, expelled from school after holding a séance. She is sent to a convent in the middle of nowhere, hoping to be left in peace.

With Chameleon, Zoe Kalo has created an extraordinary story of a young woman who just wants to contact her dead father. Strange things are happening at the convent as some secrets better stay buried. It is a compelling read, drawing you close to Paloma and the events. I suffered with Paloma, inwardly rebelling against the strict rules, and being as surprised by some revelations. Zoe Kalo knows how to keep you glued to the story, giving you the feeling that there is a hidden layer of the past – or evil – on top of your normal world. [You can certainly relate if you watched The Orphanage (2007) starring Belén Rueda.] Paloma is quite complex, Rubia is of considerable depth, the other characters are of sufficient depth (according to their relevance). The story comprises realistic characters in a normal environment with an odd touch, interesting turns, and has a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like young adult suspense stories with paranormal aspects, characters who might turn out every which way, and a subtle creepiness.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Chameleon?  Or – if you did not yet read Chameleon – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Come On Up to the House by Dane Cobain

come_on_up_to_the_house

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Doesn’t life seem nasty, brutish and short?

This horror novella and accompanying screenplay tells the story of Darran Jersey, a troubled teenager who moves into a house that’s inhabited by the malevolent spirit of his predecessor.

As time goes by and the family begins to settle, Darran begins to take on more and more of the qualities of James, the dead teenager who committed a bloody suicide.

As tragedy after tragedy threatens to destroy the family, Darran’s mother Alice decides to leave the house behind and start afresh, but is it too late?

Find out when you Come On Up to the House…

Genre(s): Fiction > Horror > Occult
Series: n.a.
Length: 125 pages
Release date: 2016-12-05

Teaser


Darran breathed a sigh of relief an turned around. As he did so, the lights flicked on by themselves and his nightmare was back, only this time he was living through it. The walls and carpet were daubed with blood. Darran did not know it, but he was looking at the room as it was left by its previous inhabitant. It wasn’t a pretty sight.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to the Jersey family – especially teenage son Darran – and their house.

With Come On Up to the House, Dane Cobain has created a horror story about a house, the evil spirit within, and a family. It is a fight between evil and not-so-evil; the horror is not limited to the evil spirit. Dane Cobain paints a clear picture of Darran while the gory story evolves. The other characters are of sufficient depth, supporting the novella-length story appropriately. The story has a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like the macabre, novella-length horror stories with a psychological touch, and screenplays.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Dark
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language 😳
Violence 😡
Sexual content 😳

 

About the author

Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website.

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Dane Cobain
Buy link(s):  books2read.com/u/bQZXQw

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Come On Up to the House?  Or – if you did not yet read Come On Up to the House – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Former.ly by Dane Cobain

Review:  No Rest for the Wicked

10 Statements – Dane Cobain

 

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The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack II by C.S. Boyack

tenofcsboyack_ii

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. Every story can be read in a single session. This time there are a few tributes to the pulp era. Stories include science fiction, paranormal, and horror.

The stories: Fever, Documentary, Inheritance, Magpies, Questing, Career Move, Just Another Saturday Night, Last Flight of the Rocketmen, Night Bump Radio, Things We Do For Love, The Parade Wave, Jason Fogg, Angel, Holo-Barkers, Practical Geology
[the different colours are meant to simplify reading the titles]

Genre(s): Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superhero
Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Anthologies & Short Stories
Series: The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack, #II
Length: 141 pages
Release date: 2016-08-31

 

Teaser


“When you opened the detective agency you were so happy. You saved my life, and Detective Marsh fed you business. What’s the deal? You haven’t been to your office in two weeks.”

“It’s my special abilities. They ought to be worth something to us, but they’re not all they’re cracked up to be either. A man has to sell his skills, and I can do something nobody else can do.”


My Opinion

This anthology comprises fifteen different stories, taking you on fifteen very different trips; some will make you happy, some will make you sad, others will make you wonder. There is one thing that they all have in common: They are unforgettable. I cannot tell you more about this anthology as it would spoil the fun of reading it yourself.

With The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II, C. S. Boyack presents us with fifteen little gifts. Each story is skilfully elaborated, has its own great flow. Ernest Hemingway once stated “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” C. S. Boyack shows this masterly with every story – he created living people instead of mere characters. I was drawn into the stories right away, close to the protagonists – sometimes too close for comfort. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II. It is a very enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like short stories, adventures with a humorous streak, paranormal events, horror stories, a remarkable science fiction story, very likeable characters to cheer on, surprises and food for thought – all packed in micro-fiction and short stories.

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful, dark, fun, thoughtful
Pace Steady
POV Alternating persons
Language :mrgreen: – 😳
Violence 😳 – 😡
Sexual content 😳

 

About the author

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack II?  Or – if you did not yet read The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack II – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


10 Statements – C. S. Boyack

Review:  Wild Concept

Review:  Arson

Review:  Will O’ the Wisp

Review:  Panama

Review:  The Cock of the South

Review:  The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack

3 Quotes – C.S. Boyack

Review:  The Playground

 

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