Book Review Eden Forest by Aoife Marie Sheridan

1Synopsis:

Sarajane Anderson is your regular twenty one year old. With family, friends and a normal job. She also happens to be the only person who can save Saskia, a world parallel to earth.

When Sarajane is taken to Saskia, she could never have imagined the reality of the world she steps into, a world where magical abilities are in everyone’s possession.

She must face a father she never knew, a world that is beyond her belief. A guardian who captures her heart, and a darkness that wants to take it.
On this journey Sarajane discovers her magical abilities and realizes they come with a price. Sarajane is truly tested, as her loved ones are put at risk. The question she must ask herself is, how do you choose who lives and who dies?

About the Author:  author

Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon’s books, given to by her grandmother her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife had a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen. Realising she needed to get a real job (What writing isn’t) she studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until her passion for reading returned and she found Maria V Snyder. Poison study one of her favourite books has been read and re-read countless times.

Aoife’s first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) came to be after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born. Now with her first novel published and taking first place for Eden Forest with Writers Got Talent 2013, Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and is currently working on her third book for the Saskia Trilogy amongst other new works.

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My Review:

It takes a lot of time and effort to build a new world in a book, it can sometimes be thrown in too heavy handed or explained to the point of boredom – but Eden Forest manages to have the right mix of information and world setting without making the reader feel like they’re wading through the thick syrup of the author’s crazed day dreams.

The story is told from 3 view points and I really would have preferred just the one, it would have also made sense too, as the focal character of Sarajane would have made a great narrator and guide. This is just my opinion though, if you read this blog you’ll know that I tend to prefer first person narrative over third in both my own writing and the books I read.

From a writer’s perspective, I’ve always liked the idea of parallel worlds, but find them too needful and in-depth to write about myself. Keeping your world and the important info thereof, straight in your mind as you write is a skill all in its self and demands a lot of organisational patience and probably a tree’s worth of flash cards pinned to a board above the laptop.

The front cover is very interesting, it grabs the eye and it seems the more you look at it the more you see – kind of like the book itself. So I must admit that this would rank pretty high on my appeal scale.

Overall I’d give Eden Forest 4 out of 5 stars – a great excuse to leave this dreary reality behind, and have an adventure!

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Book Review: The Seers (Book 2) by Julianna Scott

17457717Synopsis:

After nearly being drained of her ability and betrayed by a man her father trusted, Becca Ingle was left with one clue — Ciaran Shea. He holds the key to the downfall of the power-mad Holder, Darragh, and can ensure the safety of both Holder and Human kind alike… but is he willing to help?

Becca, Alex, Jocelyn, and Cormac set out for Adare Manor to meet with the Bhunaidh, an aristocratic group of pure blooded Holders of whom Ciaran is a rumored member. However, when Becca discovers that they might not be the only ones after the information Ciaran has, everyone begins to wonder if Bhunaidh might not be as uninvolved with Darragh as they claim.

A race to uncover Ciaran’s secrets begins, where the line between friend and foe is blurred, and everyone seems to have their own agenda. Becca will have to call on every ability at her disposal to uncover the truth, all the while knowing that sometimes the answer is more dangerous than the question.

About the Author: Julianna-Scott-Nov-2012-250

Julianna was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent the majority of her educational career convinced she would be a musician. However, after receiving her music degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, she realized that she’d been born in the wrong era for her dreams of singing jazz to adoring fans clad in zoot-suits and flapper dresses to come true, and began to wonder if her true calling might be elsewhere.

While Julianna had always excelled in writing throughout school, she’d never considered it a career possibility until about three years ago, when she’d gotten her first story idea and decided to go for it. She grabbed her laptop, started typing away, and has never looked back.

Website    Goodreads   Twitter

My Review:

I really feel that this series would make a fantastic movie. It’s kind of a paranormal sci-fi that uses all the familiar aspects of YA that we’re used to, but in a shinier wrapper.

Becca is a great character. She’s not one of those soppy teen angst types that you just want to slap; she’s funny and courageous without being too unrealistic – which is hard in a book with some very strong fantasy and supernatural themes. She did let the side down though a few times and dipped out of character by blabbing to others who could have been against her, but hey – we all do that in real life, so actually, although annoying for a hero to do, was actually very believable.

From a writer’s perspective, there were a few clichés in there, in terms of characters and events, but the whole thing is written beautifully and flows well. I did feel the plot slowed down in places, and personally I like more action and less talking (but that’s just me) I did read the first book before this one, and you really do have to read them in order to truly understand the character motivations and events that take place. There was a bit of swearing in this, which is dancing a fine line for a YA book. As an author myself I understand the debate; there’s a need to make dialogue believable and if something bad happens your character isn’t going to yell, “Fiddle Sticks’ but, in saying that, parents still want their kids reading something cleanly appropriate. Sh*t, I don’t think I even have the answer to this one myself!

The front covers are very classy, but don’t really say much about the story. I’d have preferred a few characters on the front as a visual and also to clearly define it as YA fiction to the less researched reader.

Overall I’d give The Seers 4 out of 5 stars, if you enjoyed The Mortal Instruments series – you’ll love these books.

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Book Review: Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

downloadSynopsis: 

When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.

1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.

But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.

If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster—or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.

Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?

About the Author: Author-Photo-Karen-Kincy-091013

Karen Kincy (Redmond, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.

Website  Goodreads  Facebook  Twitter

My Review:

Oh, finally a bit of Dieselpunk romance! What a treat! Right from the start of the book I was hooked. The relationship between the two antagonists was wonderfully deep and flawed at the same time. The setting was amazing and the author had such a way with moving the story on, it was like watching a movie (I’d love to know who she’d cast in the leads)

Definitely an over 18 book though, and it was good to not have it end on a cliff-hanger – but does that mean that there won’t be another a series? There’s definitely more scope in the carefully built-up world itself to throw in a few more characters…

From a writer’s perspective, the action was intense and the plot was interesting and moved at a steady pace. I really have to applaud Karen for tackling this genre. I really hope that readers pick it up and give it go. It’s so refreshing to have a new twist on romance. Maybe we should see more genre mash-ups on the market? There was some lovely turns of phrase in there and the female lead was strong yet felt real – a hard thing to write but a pleasure to read.

The front cover does let it down for me. I don’t think it really lives up the book itself. The woman on the front doesn’t look like the main character who’s described as half Chinese with Tawny hair.

Overall I’d give Shadows of Asphodel 4 out of 5 stars – get your Dieselpunk romance on! Yeah!

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Virtual Book Tours: To tour, or not to tour?

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Well, if you’ve been reading my blog (if you haven’t – where have you been?) you’ll have noticed that I do a lot of book reviews and author interviews. The interviews are mainly because I’m an incredibly nosy person, but the reviews tend to be either Netgalley related (If you haven’t joined yet and you love reading – what are you waiting for?) or for virtual book tour companies. I started looking at these sites when I got the release date for my own book and decided to join a few to see how they worked and which of the many companies offering this service provide the best value for money.

I must admit, I’m having quite a bit of fun doing these tours. I’ve met some truly lovely people and been introduced to some awesome authors and books – ones I’d have never found on my own. The whole thing appeals to my organised ‘anal’ side, and it doesn’t hurt to have related content almost every day for this blog.

Now, I’m not reviewing the companies who do this, but from my sidebar you can see the ones I tend to favour and I’d encourage you all to have a click through and perhaps join as a tour host or invest in a tour for your own book. And let me know your thoughts as comments on this post.

I see a number of the same authors out there who are dedicated to using these services and repeat business must hopefully mean they’re seeing fairly decent results in the interest levels in their books. The basic equation here is that bloggers have followers, and followers might buy your book.

Most tour companies will offer a service that includes: reviews, interviews, spotlights, and guest posts. You can pick and choose from this menu, but I’d advise you to go ‘tapas style’ on it and try a bit of each to see what you like the most. Reviews can be the scariest of all, what happens if a blogger hates your book? To be honest, this is a natural part of being an author anyway – not everyone will like your work – accept that, move on, suck it up… Do you like everything you read? No. I certainly don’t. But did bad reviews hurt ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? No, it unfortunately did not!

With more and more books being released it can be hard to get yours to the front of the reading pile. And this isn’t all down to your publishers either; as a modern author part of the job is keeping social and having a decent online presence. Whether you like it or not, we are living in an increasingly digital world and blanking it is not just rude but utterly career stunting. Authors need to get their work out there, and yes this can be time consuming – so virtual book tour companies could be a clever solution for you to do just that whilst keeping your precious time on the thing you actually want to do – going down the pub, oh wait I mean write!

Book Review: Lichgates by S. M. Boyce

1 -LichgateSynopsis:

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.

Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

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About The Author: images

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.

S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.

Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

http://www.smboyce.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thesmboyce

https://twitter.com/thesmboyce

My Review:

I just loved the tagline on this book: Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive. It really conjures up the overall feeling of the book and also the jeopardy the characters could be in for!

It’s really the type of book you can see a movie evolving from. Great characters, interesting setting and a typical Hollywood theme that would really work on the big screen.

Kara is a strong female lead, which is a rarity in these kind of books, especially when you have a human lead pitted against supernatural characters. Yes, she develops into a more magical character herself to compete, but the story still retains the kind ‘fish out of water’ you get from the likes of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or the ‘Wizard of Oz’.

From a writer’s perspective, it was a little slow to start with and could have done with perhaps a prelude that had some action in. There were a few fantasy cliches in there, but they kind of worked, so they didn’t bother as much as if they had just been rammed in there to try to add to effect. The whole thing is written very well and the relationships between the characters are both surprising and a welcome change from the norm – the two main protagonists didn’t just fall hopelessly in love within the first five minutes!

I’ve seen two different front covers online – and this one (above) is by far the better. Eerie and pretty all in one – by far more attractive to readers.

Overall I’d give Lichgates 4 out of 5 stars – an epic new fantasy series that pushes it’s way of the norm just enough to capture your imagination.

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Book Review: Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown

Darkness-of-Light_small_Synopsis:

Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.

 Good Reads    Amazon

About the Author: stacey_marie_brown

Stacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing. She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.

When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

Website    Goodreads    Facebook    Twitter

My Review:

I must admit that I didn’t realise that this book was Indie. I saw a publisher down and thought it was a traditional. Reading it still kept that thought alive, however it was only when I looked into the publisher that I realised that the publishing company is the author. It did make me feel a little misled about the books origins, but it didn’t take away from the fact that this is an interesting read.

First off, the whole paranormal world that the characters live in is shrouded in doubt and its only at the very end that you realise what the protagonist actually is and why she’s in the mess she’s in. To me this was a refreshing change and really could have blown up in the author’s face – so was a courageous thing to do.

Ember as a character was well rounded with a dry sense of humour – which is really appreciated in YA literature, as it’s all too easy to have a whiny teen you want to slap, as your lead.

From a writer’s perspective, the plot was steady but there were a few easy to guess parts – although a whole Agatha Christie style mystery book can be very weary, so I presume this was on purpose to ensure that the reader felt vindicated at certain points for their deductive skills. The YA go-to troupes were still out in force – the love triangle, the bad boy, the uncertainty, the best friends. But this is what teen readers want – so I can’t really criticise (hell, I’ve done that too myself!)

The front cover is very pretty, it doesn’t give much away but draws the eye and is the kind of book you’d like to carry round with you.

Overall I’d give Darkness of Light 4 out of 5 stars. An enjoyable teen read I’d thoroughly recommend.

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Book Review: Path Unchosen by Kim Cleary

Path-Unchosen-by-Kim-ClearySynopsis:

When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that’s a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life.

Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he’s not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.

About the Author: authorheadshot2

 Kim writes urban fantasy for anyone who longs to discover they are extraordinary. She writes about hopefulness and determination, and about heroes who push through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time. Magical friends and gorgeous guys help, or hinder, in one adventure after another.

When not writing, revising, or thinking about writing, Kim gardens, plays with her dog, chats on social media, catches up with friends or cooks an Indian feast. She is a member of Writers Victoria, Romance Writers of Australia, The Alliance of Independent Authors, and a certified chocoholic.

Kim grew up in Birmingham, UK, studied medieval history and psychology at Adelaide University in South Australia and has worked all over Australia and in London. She now lives with her husband and an adorable Cocker Spaniel in Melbourne, Australia.

My Review:

With soooo many zombie books about nowadays it’s hard to find a good angle that hasn’t already been flogged to death, risen and been shot in the head. But Kim Cleary has actually managed this with Path Unchosen. To have your main character as a necromancer in the zombie invasion is a brilliant concept!

It kind of reminded me of ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ where, although its set in the future, it very much feels like we’re with the characters in the past. The beginning of the book was a little slow to get cooking, the orphanage was very binding to the protagonist, Judy (as it should be) so I was chomping at the bit to see her spread her wings – which was probably what the author wanted. Sadly, even when Judy is free she doesn’t develop much as a character, and comes across still very child-like, even though she is supposed to be 18 – maybe because she had a sheltered life?

From a writer’s perspective, it was very well written with some lovely turns of phrase that really impressed me. The flow wasn’t overly steady though, and the plot seemed jerky at times. There were also a few grammatical errors – but hey you can probably find some here too of you look hard enough ;)

The front cover is nice, but doesn’t stand out to me. I think if it were to have Judy on the front and perhaps a more dystopian feel to it, it would be more attractive and represent the book much better.

Overall I’d give Path Unchosen 3 out of 5 stars. My hat is off to Kim Cleary for the whole concept and it’s a promising start to a new series.

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Book Review: Night Chills by Jeff Gunhas

night-chill-new-cover-7-3Synopsis:

Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah. When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined. Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.

About the Author: authorphoto

In addition to writing supernatural thrillers for adults, Jeff Gunhus is also the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. (www.jacktemplar.com) The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born and recognized as a 2012 Forward Reviews Book of the Year Finalist. Jeff has been a Stephen King and Dean Koontz fan since he was a kid reading their novels under the covers at night. Seeing Night Chill next to King and Koontz on the Amazon Bestseller lists has been a surreal experience. He leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole and five incredible kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

 Website  Goodreads   Facebook   Twitter

My Review:

I’ve read so many romance novels recently that I’ve forgotten what reading a good horror novel can be like! Night Chill is, well chilling! It’s very suspenseful and puts forward an incredibly scary scenario. Very well written and really draws you in from the very first chapter.

The characters were interesting and well fleshed out. The plot was consistent and gripping. Both the antagonist and protagonist were carefully constructed and served the main themes of the book well.

From a writer’s perspective, there were a few info dumps in the beginning, however they were entwined nicely with a number of hints about secrets and mysterious to come, so I instantly forgave their presence. It was written third person and jumped from character to character which really added to the overall suspense. I must admit that it’s not my preferred POV, but really served to build tension and keep me hooked.

The front cover is also very creepy and relevant to the story – which, although sounds a no-brainer, some covers can be almost completely unrelated to the story within. Obviously the cover designer either read the book, or had a good conversation with the Jeff.

Overall, I’d give Night Chills 5 out of 5 stars – Reminded me why I started a love affair with horror literature in the first place!

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Book Review: Death is but a Dream by Erin Hayes

Death is but a dream - 2 copySynopsis:

Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.

Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it’s the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.

So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.

With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.

Buy the book:

About the Author: 

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Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery Death is but a Dream and the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average. You can reach her at tiptoegirl87@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Website: http://erinsalterego.blogspot.ca/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/erinhayes5399

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5335865.Erin_Hayes

My Review:

I’ve always been fascinated with ancient mythology, and for writers, it instantly gifts us with an almost pre-built world and character list. I’ve read the Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter which deals with Greek mythology and loved it, and its why I wanted to review Death is But a Dream, as this also includes aspects of Greek mythology cleverly weaved into an urban fantasy style story line.

I must admit that I found the start a little dry, but it does soon open out into an intriguing story that keeps you reading. It had more bite than the Goddess Test books, perhaps because this falls more into NA/ adult than YA. So, I found myself understanding the protagonist more – there were less hissy fits and more action with a stronger female lead.

From a writer’s perspective, this book posed the age old problem of the first line hook. I myself have fallen foul of it in the past, and I think that it really proves a point of how important it truly is. The very first line is: “I was walking down Market Street, when I saw a small family taking a stroll, a young couple pushing a stroller with small toddler in it.” Not very hookish, and (to make it punchy) should have really been two sentences rather than one. It doesn’t represent the rest of the book very well, which is full of intrigue and action. Perhaps starting it off as she literally saves the child and feels herself die, rather than scene setting?

The front cover is lovely, although doesn’t give the feel of Greek mythology, which is one of its strongest selling points.

Overall, I’d give Death is but a Dream 4 out of 5 stars –  a really well thought out supernatural book with a twist of Greek myth.

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Book Review: Darkness Watching by Emma L Adams

Darkness Watching Final CoverSynopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be..

About the Author:568

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural/urban fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Website               Goodreads             Facebook        Twitter

My Review:

Darkness Watching is a YA urban fantasy, although it could also be NA looking at the age of Ash the protagonist. It has a cool storyline and a fun main character.

It was so lovely to read an English book, by an English author set in England. There are soooo many books coming out in this genre, and most coming from the US, it was pleasure to read something that felt instantly familiar to me. The first couple of chapters that talk about getting into college and moving into dorms made me a little nostalgic too, from when (many moons ago) I moved out of home for the first time and into student digs – although in real life, my room was the size of a kennel and the communal kitchen was infested with Daddy Long Legs – ahhh, good times!

From a writer’s perspective the scenes were sometimes a little jerky, with characters suddenly appearing out of nowhere, and settings morphing without warning – so perhaps it could have done with one more edit for continuity sake. But, in saying that, it was, in the majority, very well written and I really liked the first person narrative. I’ve been reading a lot of third recently and I must admit that first still remains my firm favourite.

The front cover is very pretty – I really love the purples and blues and it really does seem to capture the essence of the book. I also really liked the extra touch of the pretty flounces at the start of each chapter – something often forgotten in eBooks.

Overall I’d give Darkness Watching 4 out 5 stars – a great read and a perfect one for us in the UK.

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