February 28, 2017

Brainwalker by Robyn Mundell and Stephen Lacast

Brainwalker is an exciting science fiction fantasy novel written by Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast.

When Ms. Needleman rejected his initial idea for his science project, Bernard has to think of something else. To his consternation, his father, brilliant scientist Floyd Knifton, disagrees with his ideas. Since his mother’s death several months ago, disagreement between father and son has been frequent. Bernard wants his father to be more supportive while his father wants him to control his impulses.

After a disastrous science class which ends up at the Principal’s office, Bernard finds himself in his father’s office at work where he learns that there is something even more serious than his science project. Bernard panics, flees towards the particle accelerator and gets accidentally transported through a wormhole and ends up inside his father’s brain. There he meets creatures inhabiting his father’s left brain hemisphere. These creatures are in the verge of extinction because of the imbalance of mental energy which is trapped in his father’s right brain hemisphere.   

This is a fast paced, exciting and action filled novel that depicts how the brain functions. By animating the parts of the brain, the authors show how it works and explain why a person behaves a certain way.

The writing style is perfect for young readers, easy to read and understand. The authors are able to keep the story interesting and suspenseful up to the last chapter by gradually disclosing new information. Descriptions of the setting, inside a person’s brain, are detailed and creative while dialogues between characters are very realistic. Though only Bernard and his father are given enough back stories, the rest of the characters are easily relatable and the readers will find themselves rooting for the good guys.

All in all, this is a very creative, entertaining and informative story for young and old readers alike.

Congratulations to Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast on such a great book! For more information on this book, visit BRAINWALKER.

February 24, 2017

Embellished by Karen Glista

Embellished is Book 1 of the Chronicles of Orian written by Karen Glista.

In the midst of a terrible hurricane in Galveston, Texas, Travis and his critically ill sister Bekka, together with three others are magically transported to the beautiful but dangerous world of Orian, while playing an online game. Orian is inhabited by various races aside from humans. There are the Stouts, the Vaetters, the Kytes, the Eutracians and the ferocious and beastly creatures called the Vadarcs.

As soon as Travis realizes what happened, his first thought is to find a way back where they come from and leave the dangerous world they find themselves in. However, Bekka does not feel the same way, because she arrives in Orian in the best of health and with no sign of the dreadful disease that already claimed her mother’s life.

Will they find a way back to Galveston before they all fall prey to any of the dangers lurking in every corner of Orian?

Aside from the obviously great premise, this book has an amazing plot with unpredictable twists and surprising turns of events told in easy-to-read style. The descriptions of the setting are vividly detailed and so do the various scenes from fighting scenes to love scenes. The ending is a combination of resolved conflict and introduction of a new adventure for Book 2.

However, I can only name a few of the characters who are particularly likable, Randar and Ana, probably Travis but his role is smaller than I expected. Moreover, though the characters are mostly teenagers and the introductory subject is online gaming, the scenes of gore and violence as well as the detailed love scenes may be suitable for more matured readers.

Congratulations to Karen Glista (@ElizabethGlist1) on such an enjoyable book! For more books by the author, visit Karen Glista Books

February 19, 2017

The Dark Companions by M.A. Kassel

The Dark Companions is a dark fantasy thriller written by M.A. Kassel.

Every child in Ursyca is partnered with a monster, a dark companion, at birth. On the child’s 16th birthday, a showdown takes place between him and his dark companion. While the monster feeds on his fears and nightmares as it grows, the child prepares for the fateful day. It is either he wins and takes control of the monster or he is eaten alive.

Sid is a young ore digger who wants to be a powerful Subduer. He feeds his beast with his pain and misery hoping to subdue and control it and save his sister Eyleen from being eaten by her monster. On the day of his showdown, however, something goes terribly wrong and Sid has to leave his village to look for help. Meanwhile, the obsessed and bloodthirsty Count Kalderan is intent to find every Subduer in the land to increase his power.

This is an action-packed and adventure-filled dark fantasy novel that will keep you reading. Written in easy to read style, various scenes are carefully and vividly depicted. Chasing, fighting and battle scenes are presented in details and the different types of monsters are described complete with various abilities.

In addition to the great plot is a set of well-developed characters, some exceptionally admirable and endearing while others are totally disgusting and loathsome. Though I particularly like Zee for her adventuresome spirit, I like Sid the most. I admire his determination and strength of character. Moreover, the story is made up of seemingly unending trials and unexpected turn of events faced with the most unlikely allies.

However, I found the description of Eyleen more fitting for a little girl instead of a teenager. Moreover, there are several noticeable errors which include misspelled and missing words. Finally, there are some obscene languages as well as violent and gory details which may not be suitable for young readers.

Though I prefer a different ending, I still enjoyed reading the entire book.  This is a great story of 'camaraderie, compassion and sense of sacrifice' and I recommend it to all fans of dark fantasy.

Congratulations to M.A. Kassel on such an amazing book!

February 12, 2017

The Whiteland King by Adrian G. Hilder

The battle for Valendo against Pragius and his undead army continues in The General’s Legacy, Part 2: The Whiteland King (The General of Valendo Book 2), written by Adrian G. Hilder.

Leaving his two mages to help defend Dendra Castle, the Archmage of Valendo takes his daughter Petra on a mission to Nearhon. With only thirty four men including the Silver Warrior , the Archmage and his daughter, and other members of the original Valendo unit, the young general, Prince Corylus, the grandson and protégé of the legendary general of Valendo, rode to Nearhon to face King Klonag, the Whiteland King. Unbeknownst to Prince Cory, his beloved Julia is King Klonag's visitor in Bytper Castle.

This is a fast-paced and action-filled fantasy book with a touch of humor and romance. It combines the wisdom and experience of the old and the tenacity and strength of the young as Prince Cory fights side by side with his grandfather’s old warriors and friends.

The writing is quite engaging with realistic descriptions of the beautiful, snow-covered Whiteland and amusing dialogues particularly between the veteran warriors. The story has a subtle touch of mystery as the author successfully hides a cunning spy in the midst of the assemblage.

In addition to a set of memorable characters, the plot is neatly tied up after a climactic and intense battle. It is followed by a satisfying ending but one that leaves the readers excited in anticipation for the next book in the series.

I just noticed, however, that Petra’s role was very minimal compared to her character description and backstories. I was expecting to see more from her than was actually in the book. Still, I enjoyed this book a lot and I recommend it to fans of fantasy novels. However, though I believe that this book can be read as a standalone, I strongly suggest to read book 1 first to fully enjoy book 2. 

Congratulations to Adrian G. Hilder (@AdrianGHilder) on an amazing second book in a series. You may click HERE for more of the author’s books.

February 10, 2017

Come on Home, Children by Victoria Randall

Come on home, Children is Book 2 of the Children in Hiding Series written by Victoria Randall.

The year is 2042. Under No Unwanted Children Act, anybody who wants to have an offspring is required to acquire a reproductive permit also called a baby license. Otherwise, the pregnancy is illegal and punishable by law.  

Is has been four years since Willa escaped from Renton Children’s Center. She lives with Adele, an older woman who took her when she was pregnant with her daughter Katy. Katy is now a smart nearly four-year old girl and Willa dreams of finding a stable job and a better home for them.

Willa’s hopes and dreams are shattered when she comes home to find Adele’s house locked, with Adele in jail and Katy under the custody of the Bureau of Population Management. She is willing to give everything she has and do everything she can to get Katy back. Being a non-person entity herself, Willa is powerless alone. But with loyal friends and a powerful ally rallying behind her, Willa dares to step up and reinvent herself to rescue the most important person in her life.

Unlike the first book in the series, Get on Board,Little Children, this has a slower pacing and is less suspenseful though just as intense and exciting. Moreover, the plot is a little more extreme while the romance part gives the book an entirely different appeal to readers, especially to those who enjoy a bit of heart-tickling scenes.

The characterization is great with the main protagonist, Willa, portrayed as a tough and strong woman and a patient and loving mother while her daughter Katy is a very smart and a very brave girl. The minor characters, which are given short but enough descriptions for backstories, each plays an important role. Casually worded throughout the entire story, the book is easy to read and understand.  

Needless to say, I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed the first one. Congratulations to Victoria Randall (@Entlover27) on another great book! For updates on this series, click HERE.

February 6, 2017

Strangers in Another Country by Lawrence G. Taylor

Strangers in Another Country is a set of four tales, two short stories and two novellas, written by Lawrence G. Taylor featuring Guyanese men in their quest for ‘a better life’ in England and Sweden.

The first story, A Day in The Life of Mr. Charlie Cheddar is about a lonely, bitter and unsociable low ranking clerk in one of North London Post Offices who came from a tiny Caribbean country seven years ago. After several years of depriving himself of the company of others, Mr. Cheddar agrees to be introduced to Helen by his newly acquired friend, Julian.

The second story, Betty and the Black Puppy, is about Betty Macintosh from Scotland who lives together with David Jones from British Guiana. Without consulting David first, Betty brings home a lost puppy. As soon as she gets home, Betty feels apprehensive about David’s reaction regarding her ‘good deed.’ Little does she know that that seemingly petty gesture will shed some light in their romantic relationship.

The third tale is a novella. Binky’s Reverie is about a young Guyanese man, who, in hopes of having a relationship with the smart and beautiful young woman from Sweden whom he met in London, makes the trip from England. Filled with romantic notion, Binky alights from the train hopeful and excited.

The final tale, another novella, Strangers in Another Country, features Moby, a Guyanese working as a hospital porter in Stockholm who meets an Afro-American from Brooklyn. They spend several hours talking over cups of coffee and then go out to meet other ‘brothers’ in a former jazz club.

This is a well-written, very entertaining and highly amusing book about expatriates living in a country culturally different from their own, their ways of life, their hopes, their dreams, their pains and disappointments. The best part of the book is the characterization. All the characters are well-developed and given ample back stories making them very relatable with their flaws and weaknesses. I find the stories humorous and very realistic. Each plot, though seemingly ordinary, is quite engaging in that it can happen to anyone we personally know.

Congratulations to Lawrence G. Taylor (@lgt41) on such a great book. For other books by the author, visit LGT41 Blog.