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.  🙂

 

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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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Seekers (Mud, Rocks, and Trees, #2) by R. A. Denny #RBRT #BookReview

Cover: Seekers
(Mud, Rocks, and Trees, #2)
by R. A. Denny

 

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)

Bring the seals together in Tzoladia and you will learn their secrets.” An intriguing, yet simple quest. But nothing is ever that easy.

Killer monkeys lurk in the woods. Treacherous watchers skulk the underground tunnels. An evil emperor’s minions control the archipelago city.

Brina is proficient in archery. Moshoi skillfully wields the swords he crafts. Amanki has mastered sailing. But those skills aren’t enough. The three young adventurers must make choices. Choices that mean life or death. Choices with no safe answer.

The Society of the Word has given them tools: wise sayings, moral stories, mysterious prophecies. But their faith will be tested. Will the star guide them to their destiny or lead them to their doom? Who will survive?

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
> Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Mud, Rock, and Trees, #2
File size: 238 pages
Release date: 2017-04-11

 

Teaser


“That is a merchant ship,” exclaimed Baskrod, “and she appears to be laden with a smorgasbord of goods. They may even be carrying some cloth from the Mesmeringa Forest from the look of some of their clothing.”

Baskrod had instructed me that when I reached Tzoladia I was to find a Glider girl named Brina who was from the Mesmeringa Forest. She would have a cylinder seal like the one that I wore. We must bring the seals together to save our people. …


My Opinion

In this second book you meet again with Baskrod, the three young people who have to fulfill the prophecy, and the cat rider. As the story continues, there is even more danger for them to face.

With Seekers, R. A. Denny has created the second book of a captivating, sometimes a little gory story with plot lines for Amanki, Moshoi, Brina, and Metlan. As the first book introduced the main characters and the circumstances pretty well, I go into the story right away, already familiar with the different characters and their plot lines. The characters are well elaborated; you can see them grow with their tasks. R. A. Denny created a quite intriguing adventure with individual plot lines which are getting closer on a steady basis. The story has a good flow that carries you through.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy series, intriguing suspense, believable characters, and young heroes-to-be on a quest.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Alternating persons – past tense (first person – if chapters are on Amanki, Moshoi, or Brina, otherwise third person)
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

R.A. Denny is an ancient history buff with a law degree from Duke University. While working as a criminal prosecutor by day, she escaped by night to create the fantasy world of her Mud, Rocks, and Trees series.

R.A. Denny loves adventure, animals and history. She has travelled to the ancient rock city of Petra on horseback, flown through the jungles of Costa Rica on zip lines and visited the Great Pyramid on a camel. She lives in Delaware. As a child, she had two pet flying squirrels.

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 Seekers?  Or – if you did not yet read Seekers – 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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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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Refugees (Mud, Rock, and Trees, #1) by R. A. Denny #RBRT #BookReview

 

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)

“An epic journey of a lifetime.” That’s what three young individuals from three different corners of the world have dreamed about. They were destined for greatness since the moment they were born. But what if they don’t want it? What if they’re not ready? What if their desires no longer align with the prophecy?

The problem is, they have no choice. The star has appeared. Their destiny has already begun to unfold.

It’s not the send-off that they’ve been dreaming of. Forced out. Banished. Raided. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Now they must discover who they really are while embarking on the most exciting journey of their lives. One star. One impossible task. One chance to save the world they love.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy
> Fantasy > Myths & Legends > Greek & Roman
> Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Mud, Rock, and Trees, #1
File size: 288 pages
Release date: 2017-04-09

 

Teaser


“If you move Baskrod, it must be done carefully,” the young herbalist warned.

“I have no choice,” I said.

Once again the wife of the bearded man came to my assistance. “We must do as he says,” she said. “There are mysteries here beyond our understanding.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Baskrod and the three young people who have to fulfill the prophecy.

With Refugees, R. A. Denny has created a captivating, sometimes a little gory story with plot lines for Amanki, Moshoi, and Brina. It took a few chapters to get into the story, to get used to the different characters and their plot lines. After ‘meeting’ all of them, I was drawn into the story as a close invisible companion. R. A. Denny created a quite intriguing adventure with individual plot lines – certainly meant to introduce the main characters and how their quests began. The characters develop nicely; I am looking forward to learn more about them.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy series, intriguing suspense, believable characters, and young heroes-to-be on a quest.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Alternating persons – past tense (first person – if chapters are on Amanki, Moshoi, or Brina, otherwise third person)
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

R.A. Denny is an ancient history buff with a law degree from Duke University. While working as a criminal prosecutor by day, she escaped by night to create the fantasy world of her Mud, Rocks, and Trees series.

R.A. Denny loves adventure, animals and history. She has travelled to the ancient rock city of Petra on horseback, flown through the jungles of Costa Rica on zip lines and visited the Great Pyramid on a camel. She lives in Delaware. As a child, she had two pet flying squirrels.

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 Refugees?  Or – if you did not yet read Refugees – 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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