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

 

Save

Save

Save

Sandlands by Rosy Thornton #RBRT

sandlands

 

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:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

This beautifully written short story collection is inspired by coastal England, by the landscape and its flora and fauna, as well as by its folklore and historical and cultural heritage. Several of the stories focus on a bird, animal, wildflower, or insect characteristic of the locality, from barn owl to butterfly. The book might be described as a collection of ghost stories; in fact, while one or two stories involve a more or less supernatural element, each of them deals in various ways with the tug of the past upon the present, and explores how past and present can intersect in unexpected ways.

Genre(s): Folklore, Fairy Tales, Short Stories
Series: n.a.
Length: 320 pages
Release date: 2016-07-21

 

Teaser


Tyto alba was its Latin name – the white owl, confusingly, in spite of its largely golden-brown plumage, and in spite of the existence, too, of the snowy owl, or Bubo scandiacus. In flight at dawn or dusk, though, she supposed her owl was so pallid as almost to appear white. ‘Ethereal’ was the word that came to Rebecca’s mind. In some Inuit dialects, she discovered, the word for barn owl was the same as the word for ghost.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to the Sandlands – the landscape of the Suffolk coast. 16 charming – and linked – short stories invite you to Blaxhall and its surrounding area.

With Sandlands, Rosy Thornton has created a charming collection of short stories with a good measure of folklore. It is a very enjoyable and varied read, drawing you in as you learn more about coastal Suffolk and its inhabitants. Rosy Thornton paints a clear picture of the characters and landscape while the story evolves. The characters are of sufficient depth, believable with their flaws and virtues; the author’s care for each of them shows. As for the locations, I had a clear vision of the landscape – without having been there myself. The stories are very nicely woven and have a wonderful flow. This calm way of story telling exquisitely matches the stories.

This is a book for you if you like folklore, linked short stories, believable characters, and enjoy excellent writing.

Recommended!

In brief:

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

 

About the author

Rosy Thornton is a UK-based author of contemporary fiction, published by Headline Review. Her novels could perhaps be described as romantic comedy with a touch of satire – or possibly social satire with a hint of romance. In real life she lectures in Law at the University of Cambridge, where she is a Fellow of Emmanuel College. She shares her home with her partner, two daughters and two lunatic spaniels.

 

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Rosy Thornton

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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series, #1) by Sue Coletta #RBRT

the_mayhem_series_01

 

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:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Shawnee Daniels — cybercrimes specialist by day, cat burglar by night — ignites the hellfire fury of a serial killer when she unknowingly steals his trophy box.

A SERIAL KILLER STALKS THE STREETS…

Cat burglar Shawnee Daniels always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When she hacks a confiscated hard drive at the Revere P.D., she focuses on a white-collar criminal accused of embezzlement. To teach him a lesson and recoup the funds she breaks into his massive contemporary in Bear Clave Estates. Jack has even more secrets, deadly secrets, secrets worth killing over.

A CAT BURGLAR PICKS THE WRONG HOUSE TO ROB…

Shawnee thinks she made it out clean until a deadly package arrives at her door soon after. He’s found her. As a glowing eagle taunts her Skype screen, Jack tells her she stole his precious trophy box — and he wants it back!

THEIR LIVES COLLIDE…

When her “helpful” best friend convinces her to date charismatic Detective Levaughn Samuels, her two worlds threaten to implode. Ordinarily Shawnee keeps a firm line between her professions, but dating Levaughn might help her get this psycho off her tail.

AND NOW, NO ONE IS SAFE…

In this lightning-fast-paced psychological thriller of secrets and lies, Shawnee juggles being stalked by a serial killer, dating the lead detective on the case, and tap dancing around her librarian best friend.

If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t expose her secrets and lies, more will die. And if she does, she could lose her freedom and everyone she holds dear.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Jackson, Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter thrillers, crime fiction with an edge, or psychological thrillers, mystery, and suspense, then Wings of Mayhem is for you.

Genre(s): Thriller, Crime, Serial Killers
Series: The Mayhem Series, #1
Length: 300 pages
Release date: 2016-05-27

Teaser


“I’m telling Lieutenant Holt. You’re playing games, and I don’t like it.” He stormed out the lab, and I smirked a Cheshire cat’s grin.

I packed up my laptop and bustled toward the exit. Almost made it out clean, too, before the desk sergeant announced he forwarded a call to my cell. I answered, “Computer lab. Shawnee Daniels speaking.”

A low, masculine voice said, “Gotcha.” and hung up.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Shawnee Daniels, leading a double life and – being immune to feedback is suboptimal when a serial killer is near.

With The Wings of Mayhem, Sue Coletta has once again created an incredibly chilling thriller with a stubborn young woman stalked by a serial killer. It is a very compelling read, inevitably drawing you in as the story proceeds. Sue Coletta paints a clear picture of the main characters’ mindsets – making the readers acquainted with them – while the story evolves. I was drawn rather close to Shawnee (despite her stubbornness) and Levaughn. The characters are very complex, believable with their flaws and virtues; sometimes too believable for comfort. The story is cleverly elaborated and has a great flow. Sue Coletta’s thorough research shows; you find proof throughout the story

This is a book for you if you like psychological suspense, thrillers with serial killers, stubborn characters, and if you are a fan of excellently researched topics.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

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

 

About the author

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is the author of Wings of Mayhem (Crossroad Press), MARRED (Tirgearr Publishing), The Rendering, Crime Writer’s Research, and 60 Ways to Murder Your Characters.

A multi-published author in numerous anthologies, her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly; her flash fiction in OOTG Flash Fiction Offensive, One Hundred Voices (Centum Publishing), and in the upcoming dark fiction anthology, RUN.

In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue’s the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

You can learn more about Sue and her books at:  www.suecoletta.com

 

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Sue Coletta
Buy link(s):  books2read.com/u/mgKZv0

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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Save

Save

Save

Haven (Chronicles of Warshard, #1) by Katherine Bogle #RBRT

Chronicles_of_Warshard_01

 

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)

Her immortality has saved her time and time again, but when the last of her royal family dies at her feet, she is next in line to rule a nation on the brink of war. With no formal training on how to be Queen, Haven must rise to the occasion with the help of her best friends, and personal guard, or risk losing everyone she has ever loved.

With war to the West, and no escape to the East, the evil tyrant Kadia sets her sights on the six kingdoms. Haven’s neighbors are quick to fall under the swords of Kadia’s shadow soldiers, leaving a sea of bodies and a clear path to Haven’s only home.

As Kadia’s obsession with Haven mounts, little time remains, and Haven must make a choice; join together with her fellow Royals, and test her immortality in a final stand against the evil Queen, or flee across the sea to a foreign republic in hopes of salvation. Both choices have a cost. Both plans could go awry. Haven must decide quickly, or she might be the only one left.

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery
Series: Chronicles of Warshard, #1
Length: 208 pages
Release date: 2016-05-10

 

Teaser


For a moment the noise continued, and Haven feared she hadn’t spoken loud enough. But once the moment passed there was a hush through the crowd. Their panic lulled now that the Queen, who’d clearly been shot straight in the heart, seemed to have made a full recovery.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to princess Haven; when her parents and brothers are killed, the immortal young woman needs to deal with war and an evil adversary.

With Haven, Katherine Bogle has created a fairytale-like fantasy story with more than a hint of romance and dark magic. It is a quite enjoyable and intriguing read; it felt like listening to a fairytale. Katherine Bogle paints a clear picture of Haven’s mind while the story evolves. Haven’s character develops nicely, growing with her tasks and/or obstacles – thus changing from being irritating to appreciated. The characters are of sufficient depth when required. I loved the wordplay regarding one of her female guards: Lareina (Spanish:  La Reina = The Queen). The story is nicely woven and has a good flow. I am looking forward to the second book in the series.

This is a book for you if you like fantasy, fairytales, and stubborn protagonists.

Recommended.

In brief:

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

 

About the author

Debut author of the YA Fantasy novel, HAVEN, the first in the Chronicles of Warshard series. It came in 2nd in the World’s Best Story contest (2015).

Katherine Bogle has written four full books, attended Holland College for Photography, and travelled over seas to Ireland, Scotland, England and Cuba.

You can find her tweeting away about her latest novel, THE ALDAR DOMINION, or writing her next WIP, THE QUEEN OF THIEVES. Her first novel, SANCTUM came in the top 10 of the World’s Best Story competition (2014) and will be released in late 2016/early 2017.

 

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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Save

Save

The Blue Ridge Project (The Project, #1) by Neil Rochford #RBRT

The_Blue_Ridge_Project

 

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)

A detective, a journalist and a rich deviant all must come to terms with their pasts as their actions set them on a collision course with each other and the sinister agency known only as The Project.

Detective Andrea Nox is investigating a bizarre and violent murder-suicide with far-reaching consequences, both for Beacon City and the people who run it. But all she has to show for her efforts so far are nonsensical clues and dead ends.

Then, there’s another murder.

Journalist Robert Duncan is visiting home after a personal crisis when the unthinkable happens and he unearths long-kept secrets about his family and his place within it. Before long, he is going back over an old story that implicates powerful people in horrible crimes, drawing him deeper into a dangerous and widespread conspiracy he wishes he had no part in.

Frank Mortimer, disturbed son of a wealthy and influential family, has no interest in conspiracies. He only wants to take part in an experimental program that promises to make him ‘better.’ However, with the shadowy and powerful group known only as The Project pulling the strings behind the program, what he is getting better at could prove disastrous for everyone else, as a dangerous power is being unlocked inside him…

Their paths will converge in murder, intrigue and a clandestine experiment that threatens to change the world itself. Discover the secrets behind The Blue Ridge Project…

Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Psychics, Conspiracy
Series: The Project, #1
Length: 262 pages
Release date: 2016-05-03

 

Teaser


“Yes. Steve Solas. Son of Arthur Solas, mayoral hopeful and political rising star. At least, what was left of him. This is some messy shit, Annie. I need someone sharp, off the books. Do you want it?”

Andrea didn’t hear him. She was already reading over the reports. Cap smiled again. It was the smile of a proud father, watching a child leave the nest for the first and last time.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Andrea, Robert, Frank, and a variety of other characters – all relevant for the story.

With The Blue Ridge Project, Neil Rochford has created an unusual mystery with a touch of conspiracy. It is a compelling read, demanding your attention in order to keep track of the plot lines and their main characters. It was easiest keeping track of Andrea – the only female (main) character. Secondary characters are also relevant; mystery fans will love to check the tiniest details. Neil Rochford takes you under the surface of the protagonists’ mindsets while the story evolves. I was drawn relatively close to Andrea– a detective with a sense of duty and justice, and past experiences. One of the secondary characters was also very interesting, supporting my perception of the story. The characters are of sufficient depth, believable with their flaws and/or virtues. The plot lines appear alternately – especially in parts 1 (current) and 2 (‘Before all this’). This makes sense in retrospect.

This is a book for you if you like mystery, thrillers, conspiracy, and if you do not mind a certain amount of gore and moments of desperation.

Recommended!

In brief:

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

 

About the author


Neil Rochford is an Irish man, which means that he harbors crippling self-doubt and confidence in pretty much equal amounts. He loves fiction where minds are bent and bad things happen, and tries to emulate that in his own creative works.

He started writing short stories in 2014, some of which will be available in the upcoming short story collection, Dark Wings. The Blue Ridge Project, a dark speculative suspense story, is his debut novel. It was released in May 2016 and is the first in a series.

He has been lucky enough to live in a few different places around the world, from Estonia to Brazil, and would recommend it to anyone that wants to open their mind and shake off the dust.

In his downtime from writing fiction, he also tries his hand at freelance writing, teaching, hospitality and marketing.

 

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 Blue Ridge Project?  Or – if you did not yet read The Blue Ridge Project – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Save

Save

Save