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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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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Charlotte’s Lance and the Round Fable by Margaret Lynette Sharp

charlottes_lance

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Almost on the eve of her nineteenth birthday, Charlotte – the daughter of a wealthy property developer – starts to date handsome, ambitious, fellow university student Lance. Trouble brews when Lance throws his weight behind an environmental cause that’s in direct opposition to the plans of Charlotte’s father. Will Charlotte follow her heart, or succumb to the demands of her family?

Genre(s): Teen & Young Adult, Romance
Series: n.a.
Length: 66 pages
Release date: 2016-07-29

 

Teaser


“Why do you say that, honey? Why would you want to disclaim kin with one of the wealthiest developers in the State, even if he’s hell-bent on destroying a pristine sanctuary for some of the most rare and endangered species in Australia?”

My jaw fell open. “I… I don’t know anything about that…”

“Fair enough… I don’t s’pose the subject makes for polite discussion around the dinner table.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 18-year-old Charlotte. She is in love with Lance – a guy her father wouldn’t really approve of.

With Charlotte’s Lance and the Round Fable, Margaret Lynette Sharp has created a romantic novella for teens and young adults. Once again, the readers find themselves in Australia of the 1950s, including the mindsets of that era. Romance is not my typical genre, therefore I really like that this novella is not a hard-core romance. It is a very appealing read as it covers a controversial issue that is as important as it was then: profit versus environmental protection. Margaret Lynette Sharp draws you close to the protagonist and the topic at hand while the story evolves. I was drawn relatively close to Charlotte and her dilemma, silently encouraging her to do the right thing. The main characters are of sufficient depth, believable in their actions.

This is a book for you if you like young adult romance and are interested in environmental protection.

Recommended.

In brief:

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

 

About the author

Margaret Lynette Sharp is an award-winning writer, and the author of #1 Amazon Best Seller, ‘Longbourn Revisited’. Her work was highly commended during the 2014 Hurstville Discovery Festival of Community Arts, and published by Hurstville Council in an anthology entitled ‘Write Out Loud’. In November 2015 she won a Second Prize, again in the short story section of this same competition, and her title, ‘More Than a Mere Bagatelle’, has been selected for inclusion in another anthology, ‘The Art of Writing’.

She spent her early years in an inner city suburb of Sydney, moving with her family to a leafy, outer suburb at the age of ten.

A self-motivated student who loved to seek out information, she matriculated just before her eighteenth birthday. Her enthusiasm for literature led to further studies, with a particular focus on Short Story Writing.

Shortly after the death of her elderly mother whom she cared for, Margaret met and later married Ronald Sharp B.E.M., the creator of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ. She believes that, without doubt, he is her greatest fan and motivator.

Excelling in English himself, Ron has edited much of her work.

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 Charlotte’s Lance and the Round Fable?  Or – if you did not yet read Charlotte’s Lance and the Round Fable – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

 

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