Friday Face Off : “Heavy is the head that wears the crown” 

Posted On 14 December 2018

Filed under Book Reviews
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Comments Dropped 7 responses

FFO.jpg

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme. This week’s theme:

“Heavy is the head that wears the crown”  – A cover featuring a crown

Yet another week that I think there should be lots of covers to choose from.  This week I’ve gone for : The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black.

And the covers:

My favourite this week:

CP1

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so I can visit and check out your covers.  Thanks

Next week – A seasonal cover

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ of one of your favourite covers)

21st December – ‘ho, ho, ho’ – A seasonal cover

28th December – A freebie – choose one of your favourite titles and compare the covers

2019

4th January – A cover that is fresh – New beginnings for a New Year

11th January – ‘I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king’ – A cover that depicts a novel set in the Tudor period

18th January – A cover featuring an Amulet – either in the cover or title

25th January – ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ – A cover featuring a monk/priest/person of the cloth

1st February – A comedy cover

8th February – ‘Hi little cub. Oh no, don’t be ssscared.’ – A cover with snakes

15th February – A heart – for Valentine’s day past

22nd February – “Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay; the worst is death and death will have his day.” – A cover with abandoned building/s

1st March – ‘who will buy this wonderful morning’ – A cover featuring a shop or market

8th March – ‘Two little fishes and a momma fishy too’ – A cover featuring a fish/fishes or other sea creatures

15th March – ‘Beware the moon, lads.’ – A cover with a shapeshifter

22nd March – ‘A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse’ – A cover featuring a king

29th March – “I thought unicorns were more . . . Fluffy.”  – A cover featuring a unicorn

5th April – ‘nomad is an island’ – A cover featuring a desert landscape

12th April – ‘Odin, Odin, send the wind to turn the tide – A cover featuring a longboat

19th April – ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – A cover featuring a school

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Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Girl with No Face: The Daoshi Chronicles, Book Two (The Daoshi Chronicles #2) by M.H. Boroson

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Girl with No Face: The Daoshi Chronicles, Book Two (The Daoshi Chronicles #2) by M.H. Boroson:

thegirlThe adventures of Li-lin, a Daoist priestess with the unique ability to see the spirit world, continue in the thrilling follow-up to the critically-acclaimed historical urban fantasy The Girl with Ghost Eyes.

It’s the end of the Nineteenth Century. San Francisco’s cobblestone streets are haunted, but Chinatown has an unlikely protector in a young Daoist priestess named Li-lin. Using only her martial arts training, spiritual magic, a sword made from peachwood, and the walking, talking spirit of a human eye, Li-lin stands alone to defend her immigrant community from supernatural threats.

Now Li-lin has gotten her hands on an amulet that makes its bearer bulletproof. But there’s a problem: the amulet is powered by a child’s soul. To save the spirit, Li-lin will have to voyage to Fengdu, the City of the Dead, but first she must protect the amulet from the gangsters who want it for themselves, her own father, a renowned Daoist exorcist who wants to destroy it, and the Ghostkeeper who created the amulet by murdering his own son.

With hard historical realism and meticulously researched depictions of Chinese monsters and magic that have never been written about in the English language, The Girl with No Facedraws from the action-packed cinema of Hong Kong to create a compelling and unforgettable tale of historical fantasy and Chinese lore.

Due for publication: October 2019

#SPFBO Cover Share: Blue Angel by Phil Williams (#2 Ordshaw)

Today I’m really pleased to share with you the cover for the second book in Phil Williams’s Ordshaw series.  Phil’s book, Under Ordshaw is one of the books I’ve been reading as part of the SPFBO competition and in fact his book is one of the ones that I chose to take forward.

So, without further ado please feast your eyes on the cover for Blue Angel (Ordshaw #2):

 

Blue Angel_M.jpg

And here are the two covers together so you can see how good they both look:

Also I can share with you the blurb for Blue Angel (please be aware though that this blurb may contain spoilers if you’re considering reading the first book and it may also be subject to further revision):

She’s touched the underworld. Can she survive its legacy?
 
Waking on an unfamiliar floor, Pax is faced with two hard truths. A murderous government agency wants her dead – and monsters really do exist. What’s more, her body’s going haywire, which she desperately hopes isn’t a side-effect of her encounters in the city’s tunnels.
 
To survive, and protect Ordshaw, she’s got to expose who, or what, is behind the chaos – and she can’t do it alone.
 
But with only the trigger-happy Fae to turn to, Pax’s allies might kill her before her enemies do…
Due for release in January.

www.phil-williams.co.uk  Goodreads page

The link for book #1 is:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CXYSZVN/

#SPFBO Final Batch Update

Posted On 10 December 2018

Filed under Book Reviews
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Comments Dropped 7 responses

blackThis is the fifth update which covers my final batch of books.  The fifth month of the SPFBO has come to an end which means I have now read the first 30% of my final six books.   At the start of the month I posted information about my final books.  You can find out more information here. The aim of today’s post is to provide an update on my reading progress and also to decide which book/s have been chosen to stay in the contest.  I really don’t like this part of the competition, I don’t like cutting books and I feel bad for the authors of the books that are being cut but this is a competition and I only have one space.  So, these are my thoughts this month with deepest apologies to all the authors whose books have been cut, I can’t deny that these were difficult decisions and there’s obviously an element on occasion of ‘it’s not you it’s me’.  I’ve provided ratings for the books, but these are based on the first third of the book and therefore could be subject to change.

For my final batch of books I’m rolling two books forward.

The next 4 books that I will be cutting are as follows with a short review of my thoughts on each:

ParagonParagon by K.D Wloch

I must say that the first 30% of Paragon is quite impressive and I enjoyed the read.  The story gave me Lord of the Rings vibes to be honest, the writing is good and the description makes the setting easy to imagine.   We make the acquaintance of Dan.  Dan is a scout in the militia and is given one final job – to deliver news of trouble and a burned village to his own homestead.  It seems that Dan is being dismissed with very little explanation as to why.  It would appear that things are escalating.  A burned village with no survivors, talk of the reincarnation of a god-slayer, the discovery of ancient ruins and other strange potents.  Dan finds himself on a quest with a number of companions and it seems that they’re being pursued.

As I mentioned above I think this gets off to a good start and it’s another of my books that I would be interested in continuing once I have more time.  At this stage however and having read 30% I haven’t progressed deeply enough with the story to make this one of my semi finalists.  Assuming the story continues as strongly as it starts I would say this would make a good fantasy read.

I would rate this 3.5 out of 5 stars to the point at which I stopped reading.

DeadmarshDeadmarsh Fey by Melika Dannese Lux

I was excited to pick up Deadmarsh because I love stories of the fae.  As the story begins we meet Roger who is on his way to Deadmarsh to spend another summer with his cousin Lockie.  Deadmarsh has a scary reputation although Roger loves the place and can’t wait to arrive.  However, when he finally arrives he finds things have changed and not for the better.

His cousin Travers seems to have had a personality transplant, Roger’s been switched to a different bedroom in a dark and dusty part of the house, the cat is behaving weirdly and when his cousin Lockie finally arrives he is also acting very oddly.  There is an overall feel of dark foreboding and the start of the story has a gothic feel.

To be honest it’s difficult to tell you too much more about the story as at the point at which I stopped reading I hadn’t really been able to get a good grip on it.  I think one of the issues I found I had with the read so far is the narration.  Roger is a 10 year old but for me he didn’t read that way but felt a good deal older both in his speculations and his vocabulary.  It’s still the early stages of the book but I just found it difficult to accept him as a 10 year old which in turn prevented me from immersing myself in the story as much as I would like.  I would also mention that the pacing is a little slow with lots of detail which meant that my allotted reading didn’t really see a great deal of progress in terms of the storyline although it did feel as though that was about to change.

I think this is one of those instances where it’s more a ‘me not you’ scenario.  This book, with its detailed descriptions and gothic feel could work very well for other readers but it felt a little slow to me.

I would rate this as a 3 out of 5 star read.

ArgenterraArgenterra by Donna Maree Hanson

Argenterra was quite an interesting read although it has a YA feel that felt a little too young for my reading taste.

The story starts with two young girls on a ghost tour in a castle.  They stumble accidentally into a portal that takes them to the mediaeval world of Argenterra – a place where magic known as ‘the Given’ is all around.  Unfortunately only one woman was supposed to cross through the portal and receive a gift from the Crystal Tree.  Sophy and her friend Aria have upset the balance although it would appear to all intents that Sophy is the chosen one.  She shines with radiance, her gift seems to have enhanced her beauty and she seems at peace in this strange new land.  Aria, by comparison has become a shadow of her former self, she seems to have not received the the gift of the ‘Given’ and with this lack of magic the natural inhabitants of the land distrust her presence.

Sophy, it seems, is to win the heart and hand of the Prince who is a besotted by her from the moment they meet.  Aria’s future is not quite as plain sailing.

Argenterra felt a little too young for me and I felt myself having niggles that prevented me from enjoying the story as much as I would have like.  I like the concept but it felt a little rushed and a bit light on detail, particularly at the point I read up to.  The girls seemed to accept this strange new land really easily and on top of that I didn’t really get a good feel for their friendship, in fact I thought Sophy was very careless towards Aria at the start of the story.  Obviously I’ve only read up to a certain point so can’t say with 100% assurance but I would think this would appeal to a younger audience.

I would rate this between 2.5 and 3 out of 5 stars.

HeartotDHeart of the Destroyer by Kent Corlain

Heart of the Destroyer is a difficult book to review, particularly as I’ve only read the first 30% of the story.

The story is fairly quick paced.  We meet Ashley and her brother when they’re both children – both destined to become assassins.  We learn virtually immediately that Ashley is certainly not a hero – she likes killing people – in fact she seems to be strangely gifted in that particular area and also has an unfortunate predisposition that enjoys cruelty and torture. We then jump forward, both are now trained assassins, they have been sent on an almost impossible mission – a punishment for transgressions committed by Ashley.  Her brother is no longer in any doubt as to her true nature but he still needs her help.

I really like the author’s absolute candour about the nature of the book and it’s main character.  At the same time it’s the very nature of that main character that left me unable to really enjoy this.  The author says ‘this is a nasty story about nasty people’ – and I appreciate that brutal honesty.  It didn’t really work it’s magic on me because I just couldn’t find anything to like or enjoy about Ashley herself and I always find it difficult to enjoy a book when I don’t like the main character.  But it may appeal to others and providing you read the blurb and take into account what the author himself has to say about this book and the nature of the characters then this could work well for you.

I would rate this between 2.5 and 3 out of 5 stars.

The two books I’m taking forward are:

High Barrens by Alice Sabo

Songs of Insurrection by J.C Kang

 

The books I’ve carried forward and will be reviewing over the next few days are:

  1. An Empire of Tears by Tim Marquitz
  2. Purple Haze by Andrew Einspruch
  3. Kingshold by D P Wooliscroft
  4. Dark Oak by Jacob Sannox
  5. Sworn to the Night by Craig Schaefer
  6. Forsaken Kingdom by RJ Rasmussen
  7. Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams
  8. High Barrens by Alice Sabo
  9. Songs of Insurrection by J.C Kang

 

Friday Face Off : ‘I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by life or death I can save you, I will.’

Posted On 7 December 2018

Filed under Book Reviews
Tags: ,

Comments Dropped 12 responses

FFO.jpg

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme. This week’s theme:

‘I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by life or death I can save you, I will.’ – A cover featuring a hero

Another week that I think there should be lots of covers to choose from.  This week I’ve gone for The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson.

And the covers:

My favourite this week:

Mistborn1

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so I can visit and check out your covers.  Thanks

Next week – A cover featuring a Crown

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ of one of your favourite covers)

14th December -“Heavy is the head that wears the crown”  – A cover featuring a crown

21st December – ‘ho, ho, ho’ – A seasonal cover

28th December – A freebie – choose one of your favourite titles and compare the covers

2019

4th January – A cover that is fresh – New beginnings for a New Year

11th January – ‘I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king’ – A cover that depicts a novel set in the Tudor period

18th January – A cover featuring an Amulet – either in the cover or title

25th January – ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ – A cover featuring a monk/priest/person of the cloth

1st February – A comedy cover

8th February – ‘Hi little cub. Oh no, don’t be ssscared.’ – A cover with snakes

15th February – A heart – for Valentine’s day past

22nd February – “Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay; the worst is death and death will have his day.” – A cover with abandoned building/s

1st March – ‘who will buy this wonderful morning’ – A cover featuring a shop or market

8th March – ‘Two little fishes and a momma fishy too’ – A cover featuring a fish/fishes or other sea creatures

15th March – ‘Beware the moon, lads.’ – A cover with a shapeshifter

22nd March – ‘A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse’ – A cover featuring a king

29th March – “I thought unicorns were more . . . Fluffy.”  – A cover featuring a unicorn

5th April – ‘nomad is an island’ – A cover featuring a desert landscape

12th April – ‘Odin, Odin, send the wind to turn the tide – A cover featuring a longboat

19th April – ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – A cover featuring a school

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