The Fireborn by Trent P. McDonald #BookReview @trentpmcd

Cover: The Fireborn
by Trent P. McDonald

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. Some would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate Romantic era authors. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.

When the Cauldron produces the evil fireborn, Elliot is forced to confront an army of these mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding the legendary Lady of the Lake to give him Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.

“The Fireborn” is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The entire book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with a large variety of characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Books
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Series: n.a.
Length: 326 pages
Release date: 2017-08-21

 

Teaser


The video disturbed Elliot all the more because of the news he’d heard from Colonel Wright earlier in the evening about the escalation of the “war”. If there really were over a hundred, maybe a couple of hundred, victims, then he was just seeing a fraction of them on line. Elliot had found evidence of no more than twenty videos. He could have missed some, but not hundreds.

Elliot saved the link to the latest video even though he knew it would be removed within the next 24 hours. He had scoured the Internet every chance he got and grabbed everything he could find, but soon discovered that they were removed almost as fast as they were posted.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones, called to the English countryside where his older brother, archaeologist William, has discovered a sensational artefact.

With “The Fireborn”, Trent P. McDonald presents us with a wonderful combination of myth, history, the present, and adventure. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprised interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Trent P. McDonald 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 Elliot. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Fireborn”. It is a very enjoyable read.

A great story by a skilful storyteller.

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

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!

In brief:

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

 

About the author

I never decided what I wanted to do when I grew up. I compose and play music, draw and paint, take a lot of pictures, and yes, I write. I’ve written a couple of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to go out and I write a new short story almost every week, which I often post on my blog, trentsworldblog.wordpress.com. I’ve collected some of the best short stories I’ve written and put them out as “Seasons of Imagination”.

I also like to eat, so I work as a computer nerd during the day while I figure out what it is I really want to do.

If you really need details, I was born and raised in Ohio by the shore of beautiful Lake Erie and now split my time between mountainous New Hampshire and the coast of Massachusetts.

One thing to know about me is that I hate to write bio-blurbs in the third person.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/trentpmcd
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+trentpmcd
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Trent-P-Mcdonald-691454874219113/
Amazon:  Trent P. McDonald
Amazon:  books2read.com/u/4XKd9e


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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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The Curse of Time (Bloodstone, #1) by M. J. Mallon #BookReview @Marjorie_Mallon

Cover: The Curse of Time
(Bloodstone, #1)
by M. J. Mallon

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks
> Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Coming of Age
> Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Books > Teens
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Bloodstone, #1
Length: 242 pages
Release date: 2017-08-26

 

Teaser


I couldn’t help but wonder if whatever was happening to my family had reached beyond us and touched others.

Esme answered when she’d got over the shock of seeing me. ‘I can’t tell you how I got here. I’m compelled to keep that a secret. All I can say is that I’m trapped and can’t get out. Whereas you can walk out the door, but you won’t be free until you find the cottage.’ Esme smiled. Her blonde hair caught the reflections from the morning light hitting the mirror leaving a shiny spot on the wall behind me. I gazed at her face and saw that her eyes held the truth: in the sadness, she couldn’t hide.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 15-year-old Amelina Scott, living in a rather unusal home.

With The Curse of Time, M. J. Mallon has created a well-crafted paranormal teen story that made me follow Amelina as an invisible ally; inwardly cheering her on as she tried to find a solution for her family’s issues. It is a very compelling read that draws you close to Amelina and her quest. M. J. Mallon introduces Amelina with utmost care, she is a complex and believable teenager, and you want to find a possibility to support her. The story has a steady yet fast-paced flow, still leaving you sufficient opportunity to grasp the situations. Even if I am way past my teenage times – I had a great time reading this first book in the Bloodstone series. I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

This is a book for you if you like paranormal and occult stories with believable characters, mysteries, the young adult genre per se, and if you appreciate great story-telling.

Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scenes of violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-o

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

The Bad Ones (The Bad Ones, #1) by Rachel Barker #BookReview

Cover: The Bad Ones
(The Bad Ones, #1)
by Rachel Barker

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐   (3 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When Jenna is forced to become a murderer and is sent to prison, she finds that this prison has a secret. With escape on her mind and boys after her heart, can she escape the tangle of danger she’s gotten into? Or will the supernatural world she’s intruded in kill her?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime Fiction > Murder
> Literature & Fiction > Horror > Occult
Books
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Occult
Series: The Bad Ones, #1
Length: 185 pages
Release date: 2017-08-13

 

Teaser


“So, this is Sanguis Prison. The bad ones come here, I guess like you. You don’t look particularly insane or like a serial killer though. Anyway, you’ll live in your room alone mostly, roommates generally aren’t safe. We want everyone alive…” There was that weird grin again. “Just do as you’re told and stay calm, and you’ll be fine.”

She opened a heavily guarded door that led into a dark, dirty hall full of barred doors. Most of the doors had people behind them, people that looked terrified as the woman and I walked in. Why terrified?


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 17-year-old Jenna Richardson, ordered to kill people in order to save her family from harm. She is caught and sent to prison.

With The Bad Ones, Rachel Barker has created the beginning of a compelling young adult story of a young woman whose life takes a surprising turn in Sanguis Prison. Strange things are happening, she wants to break out, unsure whom to trust. It is a quite compelling read with funny streaks, drawing you close to Jenna and the sometimes gory events. Rachel Barker wrote an easy-to-read and quite intriguing story; the main characters are of sufficient depth. The story comprises a hint of slapstick, has an odd touch, interesting turns, and has a good flow. It is the promising first book in a series and I am interested in reading the next book as well.

This is a book for you if you like young adult paranormal series with occult aspects, characters who might turn out every which way, and a subtle creepiness. And it is for you if you do not mind occasional gore.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Mood Suspenseful, dark
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (harmless: a few mild swearwords)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes with a little gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (kissing, mention of activities)

 

About the author

I’m Rachel Barker, I’m a young but committed and excited writer who also loves reading of all kinds. I plan to be a writer and aerialist, and I’m starting now! I love animals, especially fluffy ones, and coffee. I also like anything creepy, and tend to make some of my writing creepy too. My favorite interests are psychology, ghosts, and writing both helpful and entertaining books. Oh, and chocolate strawberries are more important than math!

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Rachel Barker

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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat, #1) by Zoe Kalo @zoekalowriter #BookReview

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

Genre(s): Books
> Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban > Werewolves & Shifters
Kindle eBooks
> Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
> Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Series: Cult of the Cat, #1
Length: 364 pages
Release date: 2016-04-01

 

Teaser


Across from the bed stood a statue of a woman with the head of a lioness, not unlike the one I hand seen in the London house yesterday. She stood on a shrine and various offerings lay at her feet: flowers, perfume flasks, candles, and more of those little green plants. Only, this statue had some sort of great sun disk on her head and was adorned with intricate jewelry; beautiful necklaces in silver and gold, intermingled with beads of glossy blue and red stones, hung from her neck. Who was she? Some sort of cat goddess? Why was my grandmother so insanely obsessed with cat stuff? Was she a cat worshipper?


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 16-year-old Trinity, grown up in a convent. A woman turns up to bring her to her grandmother who had finally found her trace.

With Daughter of the Sun, Zoe Kalo has created the beginning of a compelling young adult story of a young woman whose life takes a surprising turn on the Island of Cats. Strange things are happening, her grandmother dies, it is not clear who to trust. It is a compelling read, drawing you close to Trinity and the sometimes gory events. 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. The main characters are 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 series with paranormal and occult aspects, characters who might turn out every which way, and a subtle creepiness. And it is for you if you do not mind occasional gore.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful, dark
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 Daughter of the Sun?  Or – if you did not yet read Daughter of the Sun – 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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