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

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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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Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow

potwg

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

“It’s not that I don’t love you, and my tears are yet to dry. But you can’t go back and forth forever and we’ve already said goodbye.”

Through these words, a young poet unearths his musical soul while severing ties with the woman he loves after her stunning betrayal. Unknowingly, in writing this ballad of liberation, he will soon evolve as one of the fastest rising stars on the pop music landscape.

The year is 1991; the place, New York City. Here we meet Johnny Elias, a college student from Brooklyn with boundless adoration for two things in life: timeless popular music, and the heart of a sweet, complicated young woman who is clearly out of his league.

Megan Price not only is the object of Johnny’s affection, but also the only daughter of New York’s most powerful PR woman: the indomitable Katherine Price.

Projecting that her daughter’s boyfriend will never live up to the family standard, Katherine cleverly perpetrates a series of duplicitous schemes to rid Johnny from her high-class world. But in her callous disregard, she inadvertently sets him on a determined course to his improbable musical destiny – while sending her own daughter spiraling down a path of devastation.

Poet of the Wrong Generation tells the symmetrical story of a lovable underdog and his meteoric rise to stardom, his humiliating downfall and his unprecedented attempt to reclaim his place as the unlikely musical spokesman for his generation. At the heart of Poet is a tale of star-crossed lovers and their struggle with unforeseen success and disillusionment, in an attempt to rediscover lasting harmony.

Uniquely integrating a variety of original song compositions, Poet projects the epic clash between true contentment and the fable of stardom’s rewards; a nostalgic journey through the major events of the 1990s, with a cherished cast of characters and a stunningly unpredictable conclusion.

Genre(s): Teen & Young Adult
Arts & Photography > Music > Musical Genres > Rock
Series: n.a.
Length: 455 pages
Release date: 2016-11-10

 

Teaser


Johnny flashed a hopeful grin. “Maybe so. But the thing is: I’m having major trust issues. It’s like she’s holding something back. And all these restrictions… I mean, she’s probably the one thing I’ve ever cared about; can’t imagine losing her. But her mom, she’s just calculating enough to always stay one-step ahead. Plus, Megan’s confidence is so fragile that Katherine can just breathe on her and she folds up like a camping tent.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Johnny Elias and his first love, Megan Price. Unfortunately Megan’s mother Katherine does not in the least approve of Johnny.

With Poet of the Wrong Generation, Lonnie Ostrow has created a nicely balanced story about love and its complications, and of the ups and downs of a musician’s career. It is a compelling read, drawing you into the world(s) of Johnny and Megan. Lonnie Ostrow paints a clear picture of Johnny’s mind while the story evolves. Johnny is very likeable and complex, the other characters are of sufficient depth – depending on their relevance. The meaning of friendship is an important part of this book. The story comprises several plot lines, authentic characters, interesting turns, and has a really good flow.

This is a book for you if you like young adult stories on music and love, believe in friendship, and if you like authentic characters.

Recommended.

In brief:

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

 

About the author

Lonnie Ostrow has been an innovator, storyteller, promoter and celebrity-insider for more than two decades. With Poet Of The Wrong Generation, he combines all his unique experiences to bring you a novel of love & betrayal, music & fanfare, downfall & redemption — a fable of stardom’s rewards, set in New York City during the 1990s.

Since 2001, Mr. Ostrow has been the publicity/marketing director & researcher for the iconic best-selling novelist Barbara T. Bradford. He also serves as an editorial and marketing consultant for a collection of first-time authors through The Editorial Department. Previously he served as a PR executive, promoting an assortment of first-time celebrity authors including Ray Manzarek of The Doors.

From 1995 – 2001, Mr. Ostrow was widely credited with inventing the “living celebrity postal phenomenon.” In all, he worked with more than 40 legendary personalities from Bob Dylan to the Bee Gees, Sylvester Stallone to Jackie Chan, creating high-profile media events to celebrate their postal recognition by an assortment of foreign nations.

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 Poet of the Wrong Generation?  Or – if you did not yet read Poet of the Wrong Generation – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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The Blade Heir (The Azuleah Trilogy, #1) by Daniel Adorno

the_blade_heir

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

In the elven city of Evingrad, Lucius Nostra suffers from recurring nightmares of a black dragon killed long ago. The frightening dreams signal the ominous return of Kraegyn and the dragon tribes who wreaked havoc on the peoples of Azuleah. Confused and uncertain of his role in the gathering storm, Lucius joins his elf brother Siegfried on a perilous journey to reforge the Requiem Sword–the blade which once defeated Kraegyn.

Lucius’ quest will take him through the hostile realms of Azuleah, where both human and unhuman foes lurk. Though Lucius will gain allies on his mission and uncover secrets surrounding his past, can he survive long enough to stop Kraegyn’s ascension?

The Blade Heir is Daniel Adorno’s debut novel and the first book in the Azuleah Trilogy.

Genre(s): Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Arthurian; Literature & Fiction > Fantasy
Series: The Azuleah Trilogy, #1
Length: 403 pages
Release date: 2014-08-11

 

Teaser


“Your path has been foretold, Lucius. Your people need you, and even the elves need you, though they may not yet know it,” Helmer said softly.

!I do not know if this is the path I wish to take, Father. Fear overtakes me at what may meet me on this path. Why must I rise to such responsibility? Why was I chosen? My mind is full of questions, and my mind is unwilling to hear the answers,” his head sank.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Lucius, and to his elven family Helmer and Siegfried. Lucius has nightmares about the dragon Kraegyn, otherwise he is not unhappy with the elven environment. And then – he and Siegried are sent to save Azuleah.

With The Blade Heir, Daniel Adorno has created a nicely woven fantasy story. It is a compelling read, drawing you into the world of Azuleah. Daniel Adorno paints a clear picture of Lucius’ mind while the story evolves. Lucius is very likeable, he is of sufficient depth, this also applies to the other characters – depending on their relevance. Siegfried is a great guy as well, and I need to mention Syl; Syl is my favourite supporting character! The story comprises several plot lines, comprises interesting turns, and has a really good flow.

This is a book for you if you like fantasy and adventure, and if you like highly believable characters.

Recommended.

In brief:

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

 

About the author

Daniel A Adorno is an author of novels based in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He began writing back in 4th grade when his teacher assigned everyone to craft a short book with construction paper. Daniel was up to the task and wrote a book on race cars worthy of a Pulitzer. Before he was a teenager, his father bought him a typewriter for his birthday and Daniel started writing a sequel to the original race car story, which he titled The Hot Rod. Unfortunately, the book was never published, but Daniel discovered a love for writing from that first story and he continued to write short stories throughout high school and into college. His first completed manuscript was a fantasy story that he finished during finals week of his sophomore year in college. For 8 years, the novel sat in limbo waiting to be edited and then Daniel placed in the top five of a local writing contest. Everything changed. He dusted off the novel and a year later his debut novel, The Blade Heir, was published on Amazon.

Daniel currently resides in Minnesota with his wife and two sons. Besides writing, Daniel enjoys reading speculative fiction, creating digital art, and teaching Sunday school students at his church.

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 Blade Heir?  Or – if you did not yet read The Blade Heir – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

visions_of_zarua

 

I won this book (mobi format) in the author’s giveaway.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Two wizards, 350 years apart. Together they must save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past.

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.

Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.

Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.

The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

Genre(s): Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery, Epic
Series: n.a.
Length: 472 pages
Release date: 2015-11-16

 

Teaser


Paddren paced at the back of the hall, his gaze constantly flicking to the doorway. His hands shook at his sides and he forced himself to take a deep breath; this wasn’t the way to make a good impression on his peers.

He snubbed the idea as old feelings of resentment resurfaced – why should he care what they thought? They’d never accepted him as one of their own. Coming from non-magic blood had seen him shunned and bullied by the older boys, while the senior wizards ignored his torment.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Paddren, a wizard in Paltria, and to Jago, a wizard in Zarua – 350 years ago.

With Visions of Zarua, Suzanne Rogerson has created a quite intriguing fantasy story. It is a compelling read, combining the well-known ‘good vs evil’, reluctant hero, and unusual twists. The reader is drawn into the worlds of Paddren and Jago, feeling the sinister forces first-hand – as invisible ally. Suzanne Rogerson paints a crystal clear picture of Paddren’s mind while the story evolves. Paddren is very likeable, he is complex, the other main characters are of sufficient depth – depending on their relevance. The story begins slowly to provide the reader with a solid background; it soon takes on a faster pace, comprises interesting turns, and has a really good flow.

This is a book for you if you like fantasy and adventure, reluctant heroes gaining confidence, stubborn female characters, interesting and unanticipated turns.

Recommended!

In brief:

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

 

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 is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of 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:

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 Visions of Zarua?  Or – if you did not yet read Visions of Zarua – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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When Darkness Falls (The Vampire Redemption Series, #1) by Ellen Chauvet

when_darkness_falls

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Lexie Miles, a southern belle living her dream life in Paris, is devastated when her best friend Emma is brutally raped and murdered by vampires. From that moment Lexie’s “perfect world” begins to crumble. She discovers her entire life has been a sham and everyone she cares about has been lying to her. Angry doesn’t begin to describe her reaction to the news. Plunged into a two-thousand year old war between good and evil, she is propelled into a world of blood, lust and dark secrets. She must embrace her birthright to fight an ancient threat to humanity. Bequeathed with the dubious gift of being the “Chosen One,” Lexie meets the enigmatic Etienne Benoit. She falls hard for him and when he betrays her, she vows to get revenge. After all, she is a vampire executioner and killing vampire is what she does.

Genre(s): Horror > Occult, Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Series: The Vampire Redemption Series, #1
Length: 284 pages
Release date: 2016-03-17

 

Teaser


“Think about it before you answer,” Etienne urged, leaning toward her. “Anything at all could be critical to the investigation.”

“Wait, there is one thing. After dinner we bumped into a couple who seemed to make Em very uneasy, almost frightened. They introduced themselves to us. Their names were… let me think a minute. I can’t quite recall. I think the man’s name began with an F.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Lexie Miles, leading a normal life until the unexpected death of her friend Emma turns her life in a different direction.

With her début novel When Darkness Falls, Ellen Chauvet has created the first book in The Vampire Redemption Series. Based on rather typical components, the story comprises some nicely added accents. It has a good plot line, a little to far on the steamy side with many explicit scenes. Despite that it is a nice read. Ellen Chauvet paints a clear picture of Lexie’s mind while the story evolves. Lexie is wearisome, she is of sufficient depth, this also applies to the other characters – depending on their relevance. Would I read the next book in the series: Yes, my curiosity is raised.

This is a book for you if you like vampire fantasy and lots of steamy situations, and if you like stubborn female characters.

Linguistics (in the ARC; this has presumably been dealt with in the published version): Heinrick and Frankfort instead of the existing Heinrich and Frankfurt; some typos in the French words

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful, dark
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language 😳
Violence 😳 – 😡
Sexual content 😡

 

About the author

Ellen Chauvet was born in Jefferson City, Missouri where she lived for only a year before moving to Boulder, Colorado with her parents. At the age of 7 her father took a position with an international soft drink company and Ellen spent the next six years of her life in South America. Although their main home was in Bogotá, Colombia, she spent short periods of time in most of the large cities in South America and speaks Spanish fluently.

Her love for reading developed at an early age and she wrote several short stories and plays which were lost over the years and many moves. In 2003 a friend introduced her to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ellen was fascinated by the idea of good and evil vampires. At that point she started reading every vampire novel she could find, particularly loving Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris and Laurell K. Hamilton. Ellen is a master in communication and decided to use her skills to write. Her fortes are sex, violence and action. When Darkness Falls is the first in a series of books called The Vampire Redemption Series and is adult fiction. Ellen lives in British Columbia and finds the months of rain and gloom particularly conducive to this genre.

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 When Darkness Falls?  Or – if you did not yet read When Darkness Falls – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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