Under Stone (The Ambeth Chronicles, #4) by Helen Jones #BookReview @AuthorHelenJ

Cover: Under Stone
(The Ambeth Chronicles, #4)
by Helen Jones

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

‘Help will come to you, Alma, you will not be alone.’

Accepting her new powers hasn’t been easy for Alma. Nor has finding out the truth about her father. And she’s still not sure about the prophecy, or about going back to Ambeth. But the Dark are gathering, Denoris on her trail. Deryck hasn’t forgotten about her either…

Events past and present converge on a small Welsh town as Alma, and the Dark, choose their path. Who will reach the Cup first?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
> Teen & Young Adult
Books
> Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
Series: The Ambeth Chronicles, #4
Length: 260 pages
Release date: 2017-12-21

Teaser


…She almost had it, could feel the shape of the Castle mound, almost like a dome, mirroring the curving blue sky above. And inside it, deep under stone, there was something. A glimmering, a cool energy that shone steady like a star, surrounded by a tangle of Dark and Light, just like she’d seen the night before…


My Opinion

This book finds Alma in Wales with new powers and still no desire of returning to Ambeth.

With “Under Stone”, Helen Jones continues the wonderful Ambeth Chronicles. It is an enjoyable and compelling read, focussing not only on finding the Cup – in Ambeth as well as in Alma’s world; there is a lot going on among the Dark. Helen Jones paints a clear picture of Alma’s and the other characters’ mind sets while the story evolves. I was drawn very close to Alma and her story – an invisible friend and ally. The characters are complex, believable with their flaws and virtues; more characters are introduced with more detail, nicely enhancing the plot. The story is nicely woven and has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I love how some secrets are solved and new mysteries come up, it is a fine balance. I am looking forward to reading the next book.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, believable and often very likeable characters.

The fourth book in The Ambeth Chronicles series; the last chapters let me expect a promising fifth book. A book I definitely need to read.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: (decent)
Violence 😳 (some violence and mention thereof)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳 (some mentions)

About the author

Helen Jones loves to write. That’s all there is to it. Born in the UK, she lived in Canada and Australia before returning to England several years ago. The thought of finding magic in ordinary places is one that inspires her; when she was a child she did find a strange valley and hear a scream – the incident stayed with her and was the starting point of the Ambeth Chronicles.

Helen has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, runs her own blog at http://www.journeytoambeth.com and has contributed guest posts to others, including the Bloomsbury Writers & Artists site. Ambeth is not the only world she plans to visit in her books, but it’s where she is now.

When she’s not writing, she likes to walk, paint and study karate (when housework and family life permit!) She’s now working on several other novels unrelated to Ambeth, enjoying the chance to explore other fantasy worlds.

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Helen Jones
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bQxV0D

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 “Under Stone”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Under Stone” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Voyage of the Lanternfish by C.S. Boyack #RBRT #BookReview @Virgilante

Cover: Voyage of the Lanternfish
by C. S. Boyack

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Sea Stories
> Historical Fantasy
Books
> Historical Fantasy
Series: n.a.
Length: 394 pages
Release date: 2018-12-31

 

Teaser


James continued. “My mission is to bring Hollish to its knees. We do that with her shipping first. Cut them off from food and other imports. We’ll take them going both directions. As soon as our guns are ready, we’ll go hunting.”

“You’ve met your officers, but there are more you haven’t met. I brought a crew of monsters aboard with me. You may have heard them last night. They’re small and can do things you cannot. Right now, they’re getting rid of rats. They will man the crow’s nest so you don’t have to. They’re also damned handy in a fight. I expect each of you to treat them with respect.” He turned to the deck behind him. “Boss, step forward.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to a man with a mission – to rescue his fiancée.

With “Voyage of the Lanternfish”, C. S. Boyack presents us with an entertaining and sometimes pretty funny historical fantasy story. The story is skillfully elaborated and has a 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 this story – he created living people (and some amazing creatures) instead of mere characters; even if the monsters are not human – they all have a personality. I was drawn into the story right away, very close to James, Dan, and their mission. The protagonists’ personalities are complex, the others of sufficient depth according to their relevance. Protagonists who grow with their tasks during their mission will take you on an unforgettable journey. I could easily envision the characters and locations. Indeed, C. S. Boyack has done it again: I had a wonderful time reading “Voyage of the Lanternfish”; it is a highly entertaining read.

This is for you if you like great story-telling, ‘historical’ fantasy stories, interesting personalities to cheer on, as well as thought-provoking, and fun moments.

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (occasional strong violence and gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)

 

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:

Website:  https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Virgilante
Amazon:  C. S. Boyack
Buy link:  books2read.com/u/bxYeOq


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 “Voyage of the Lanternfish”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Voyage of the Lanternfish” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1


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

Review: The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack II

Review:  The Hat by C.S. Boyack

Review:  The Yak Guy Project

 

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Almost Invincible (The White Knight and Black Valentine Series, #3) by Kristen Brand #BookReview @brandedkristen

Cover: Almost Invincible
(The White Knight and Black Valentine Series, #3)
by Kristen Brand

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A theme park turns into a death-trap of sadistic supervillains…

White Knight is the most popular superhero in the country—which is bad news for David Del Toro, formerly White Knight, who retired from heroics years ago and just wants some peace and quiet. When the White Knight ride at a superhero-inspired theme park has a grand reopening, Dave is more than happy to give his complimentary tickets to his daughter and her friends and spend the day at home. But then the park gets taken hostage by supervillains.

The man known as Bloodbath spent the last decade in a maximum-security prison and blames White Knight for putting him there. He’s given an ultimatum: the hero comes to face him, or he’ll kill every tourist in the park. Dave barely managed to beat Bloodbath while in his prime and doesn’t like his chances now that he’s old and busted. But unless he does something, every innocent person in the park is going to die…including his daughter.

Almost Invincible is the third book of The White Knight & Black Valentine Series but can be read as a standalone. If you like tense thrillers with big, superpowered action, don’t wait—download Almost Invincible now!

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Pulp
Books
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superheroes
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense
Series: The White Knight and Black Valentine Series, #3
Length: 151 pages
Release date: 2017-09-30

 

Teaser


I crashed through a storefront window before slamming into a shelf. When I finally hit the floor, it knocked the wind out of me, and I spent several seconds just trying to inhale. My chest hurt. My back hurt. My head – on second thought, it’d be easier to list the things that didn’t hurt. I shifted experimentally, trying to see how much my body would rebel when I moved. It was as agonizing as expected. Something heavy lay on top of me, and it turned out to be a life-size replica of White Knight, hands on its hips and a stupid smile on its face. I shoved it off with a grunt.


My Opinion

In this book, David del Toro gives his tickets to a superhero theme park reopening to his daughter and her friends. A few hours later he learns about a hostage situation at that park.

With “Almost Invincible”, Kristen Brand presents us with a part funny, part tragic fight between revenge-hungry supervillains and courageous yet desperate superheroes. The story is intriguing, comprises interesting turns, and has a good flow. I was drawn into the story for the major part of the book, I just did not fancy the longer passages on the White Knight’s ailments between and during the fights. I had a good time reading “Almost Invincible”.

This is for you if you like superheroes, suspense with twists, and a mixture of strange events and sometimes funny situations.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language 😳  (some mild to medium swearwords throughout the story)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

 

About the author

If Kristen Brand could have any superpower, she’d want telekinesis so she wouldn’t have to move from her computer to pour a new cup of tea. She spends far too much time on the internet, and when she’s not writing, she’s usually reading novels or comic books.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  http://www.kristenbrand.com/
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/brandedkristen
Amazon:  Kristen Brand
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/b6xjMp


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 “Almost Invincible”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Almost Invincible” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Hero Status (The White Knight and Black Valentine Series, #1)

Review:  Villainous (The White Knight and Black Valentine Series, #2)

 

The Curse (Roxanne Fosch, #0.5) by Jina S. Bazzar #BookReview @Jina_Bazzar

Cover: The Curse
(Roxanne Fosch, #0.5)
by Jina S. Bazzar

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Yoncey Fosch, the leader of the Unseelie Dhiultadh clan would give anything to save his brother from a mysterious plague. Anything, including his leadership mantle and a favor to his deadliest enemy, Queen Titania’s consort.

But his actions will have far reaching consequences, and Fosch realizes he is not only unwilling to pay the price, but will defy anyone who calls him on it.

 

Genre(s): Kindle Short Reads > 90 minutes (44-64 pages)
> Teen & Young Adult
> Science Fiction & Fantasy
> Literature & Fiction
Series: Roxanne Fosch, #0.5
Length: 61 pages
Release date: 2018-04-15

 

Teaser


“Completion of the bargain … perhaps an offspring would be a fitting price.” Oberon mused, and Fosch’s stomach contents curdled. “A Dhiultadh, one strong enough to power the binding stones and still live to tell. It makes me wonder, what an offspring of yours and a Seelie would create.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Yoncey Fosch who wants to save his brother and other clan members from a plague – whatever it may cost him.

With “The Curse”, Jina S. Bazzar presents us with the prequel to “Heir of Ashes”, introducing the Roxanne Fosch series. This prequel is a sound basis for the series, telling the story of how Roxanne Fosch came to be. The story is nicely elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  good flow. Jina S. Bazzar introduces each character with care, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – as an invisible and curious bystander. I could easily envision the characters and locations – with an amazing colour intensity. I had a great time reading “The Curse”. I am looking forward to continuing the story.

This is for you if you like (urban) fantasy, likeable characters, surprises, and good storytelling.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (mostly mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some mentions)

 

About the author

Jina was born and raised in Brazil, where she had a joyful and fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She became blind at the age of twenty-three. She has since lived in the United States and Brazil, though currently resides in the Middle East.

Like most authors, Jina had always been an avid reader, a fan of the fantastic, but was denied the joy of books when she became blind. Once she discovered screen readers, she picked up the habit of reading again, but discovered that reading was no longer enough, so she started writing her own book.

When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, she’s writing articles for Conscious talk Magazine, where she works as a columnist.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Jina_Bazzar
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17738345.Jina_S_Bazzar
Amazon:  Jina S. Bassar
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bwYeWO


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 Curse”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Curse” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Link:  10 Statements – Jina S. Bazzar

 

The Lost Sentinel (Silent Sea Chronicles, #1) by Suzanne Rogerson #BookReview @rogersonsm

Cover: The Lost Sentinel
(Silent Sea Chronicles, #1)
by Suzanne Rogerson

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in “The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles”.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
> Epic
Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
Series: Silent Sea Chronicles, #1
Length: 363 pages
Release date: 2017-06-16

 

Teaser


A few moments later, Rike rose and re-joined them. He frowned at Garrick before offering Tei an exasperated look. ‘The Sentinel taught us all life is important to the magic, and in turn to our own survival. The Kalayan people have forgotten this delicate balance and now everyone suffers.’ He sighed and shook his head as he looked over at the bodies of his fellow Kalayans. ‘I don’t respect these men for the choices they’ve made, but they do deserve a chance to give back to the magic. I’ve summoned the Spirit Guides to help them. Now we need to go before those Masked Riders decide to regroup.’ He looked pointedly at his protector.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Tei whose life takes a turn after an old friend of her father’s warns them to leave their life behind.

With “The Lost Sentinel”, Suzanne Rogerson presents us with several interwoven plot lines, one covering Tei and her companions, another getting closer to Brogan, and a third one is on Farrell. All plot lines are relevant, even if I admittedly had a ranking for them i.e. one that I could not get too warm with. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Suzanne Rogerson introduces each character with finesse, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to Rike and to Brogan, highly appreciating their integrety. I will presumably get closer to Tei in the second instalment, when she has gained a little more maturity. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Lost Sentinel”. It is a very enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling trip, integrity, surprises, and great storytelling.

This is a book/series to read again. Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  –  😳  (some kisses and mentions)

 

About the author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel-writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/rogersonsm
Amazon:  Suzanne Rogerson
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bwY6Ov


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 Lost Sentinel”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Lost Sentinel” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson