Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Witchy Review: One by One by Phil Tucker


Title: One by One
Author: Phil Tucker
Published: Create Space March 22, 2012
Format: Purchased by Reviewer.
Awesome sentence structure. It was a refreshing read that didn't make me wish (only for a moment) that I was a pre-teen or YA fantasy reader just so I could relate to the author's motives.

The title refers to civilization disappearing one by one and how those remaining are left to cope. You'll read about a grieving son, a heartless dictator, and a faithful man of god. You'll read about commitments failing and relationships at their weakest and strongest and still wonder what is going to happen in the end. Though you really know what's going to happen in the end.

Many refer to this novel as Post-Apocalyptic but I feel that gives the plot an unnecessary and unfair expectation of a grandiose resolution. And depending on your style of imagination, you may or may not find what you're expecting. Therefore, I am 100% happy with the last two chapters of the book. The final sentence should've been nothing else. If you like reading books that simply tell a story and won't bog your reading hours down by page after page of world-building, and if you like to constantly try to figure everything out, especially with the plot being seeded in reality, the this novel is for you.


Witchy Rating: 5 Black Cats



This review has been brought to you by Maleficent Witchy Reviews


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Feature & Follow Bloghop #5 : Squirt some tears




Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by the wonderful and amazing Parajunkie and Alison Can Read


Q: WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY? TELL US ABOUT THE SCENE…

A: I know this is going to sound a bit silly... but I am not really a crier. I think the one that stuck out to me the most was the final installment of the Harry Potter series. Once Snape's character made a full circle, I just couldn't contain myself. I remember reading at work and had to get up and go to the bathroom so I could cry in peace. Maybe I should start crying more often? hehe! I know it is an old one, but definitely a good one :)


I wish each and every one of you a happy holidays! If you follow... I will return the favor :) <3

Witchy Review: Tough Girl by Libby Heily

Title: Tough Girl
Author: Libby Heily
Published: Nov. 2012
Words: 57707 (approximate)
Language: english
Format: Given by Author

Synopsis:
Danger lurks everywhere in eleven year old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself in a rough neighborhood. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego, Tough Girl.


Review:


The moment I started reading "Tough Girl," I couldn't--and wouldn't!--put it down. In fact, I've been done with it for a few days but didn't know how to wrap my head around the novel enough to begin to review it.


Reggie's story is so perfectly told by Heily. Reggie, as the synopsis tells us, doesn't have the easiest of lives. She is the victim of frequent bullying at school, lives on the rough side of town where she falls asleep to the sounds of sirens, drug deals, and her neighbors being beat up. Her mother is no more than a person frozen in time to a couch lost in the glare of a broken digital alarm clock.


Reggie's only solace is Tough Girl--it's not her name--it's a warning. Tough Girl is everything Reggie wants to be--beautiful, an intergalactic war hero, the person defending her family's honor. Tough Girl stays close to Reggie at all times, warning her of the upcoming danger, only disappearing to go to her home planet and fight when she is needed. Slowly, Reggie begins to come out of her shell and make friends with a boy from school and her new, fancy neighbors.


You can't help but love Reggie. Heily writes in a way that your heartstrings get wrapped around her to the point that you want to reach out and save her yourself. The story weaves seamlessly between fantasy and reality and the lines blur exactly when necessary.


To say any more would spoil the story as it unfolds, but trust me--even though it seems evident that Heily's target audience is Young Adult, anyone can pick this novel up and adore it. I can't wait to see more from this author.





Witchy Rating: 5 Black Cats (BRAVO!)




Review brought to you by Galinda at Witchy Reviews

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: Blood Rush (Demimonde #2) by Ash Krafton

I am totally excited to be a part of this cover reveal. I reviewed the first book here. It was a nice surprise with lots of adventure and sexy vampires. I real love Ash's writers voice, she has way with words. Looking forward to the release of Blood Rush. For now, you can add it to your goodreads pile and gobble up the first one.



Blood Rush
(Demimonde #2)


Sophie doesn’t believe in happily ever after. These days, she’d settle for alive after sunrise.
Advice columnist and newly-appointed oracle to the demivampire, Sophie Galen has more issues than a Cosmo collection: a new mentor with a mean streak, a werewolf stalker she can’t shake, and a relationship with her ex’s family that redefines the term complicated. And then there’s her ex himself, who is more interested in playing leader of the vampire pack than in his own salvation.
Becoming a better oracle is tough enough, but when Sophie encounters a deadly enemy – one she never dreamed of facing – it will take everything she’s ever learned in order to survive.




Ash Krafton

Ash Krafton
Ash Krafton
Ash Krafton is a writer of all things spec fic. She believes spectacular endings make the best beginnings… Why not? One billion black holes can’t be wrong. Her first novel BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde was published in March 2012. The manuscript earned finalist distinction in several Romance Writers of America 2011 competitions and has been awarded several other awards. In addition to novel-length fiction, Ash enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned big ups by CNW/FFWA in 2008 and 2011 as well as the Abilene Writers Guild in 2010. Ms. Krafton made her publishing debut in Spring 2009 when her poetry appeared in Poe Little Thing; her work has since appeared in several other journals including Niteblade, Ghostlight Magazine, The Skyline Review, and Silver Blade. One of her poems was selected as a Pushcart prize nominee. She’s a Published Member of Pennwriters and is co-editor of her area’s WordPress blog. She also contributes to Query Tracker’s blog. Ash resides with her family in a rural town in the heart of the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region. She’ll never leave, either, because coal is just another example of a spectacular ending waiting for a brilliant beginning. (It’s kinda fitting.) And because, like a black hole, once you’re in… you can never get out..
Website – Blog – Twitter – Goodreads

Friday, November 30, 2012

Feature & Follow: Literary Crush

Disclaimer: I am currently blogging "on the go." Whenever I get home this afternoon, the plan is to spruce this entry up. Right now, it will be fairly basic.

Special thanks goes to Parajunkie and Alison Can Read for hosting such a wonderful weekly hop!

Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

A: I would have to say, Matthew Clairmont from the Discovery of Witches. He has a sexy accent and loves Diana even though they are different species. Not to mention he has looks to die for, he's hundreds of years old, and loves children. Vamp and Witch love, gotta love it!

I will post pictures as soon as I get home! So who is your literary boyfriend??

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Witchy Reviews: Athena’s Promise (Book One of the Aegean Trilogy) by Annetta Ribken



Info:
Title: Athena's Promise (Book One of the Aegean Trilogy)
Author: Annetta Ribkin
Publisher: Word Webber Press
Length: 306 Pages
Release Date: October 26, 2011
Format: Given by Author

Synopsis:

As the front desk manager of a hotel on the edge of Zombietown, Pallas is used to dealing with angry centaurs, surly trolls, and zombie housekeepers.  The trouble really starts when one of her guests ends up dead and that's not the only problem.



                                                                           ****

            I love Greek mythology.  I have this amazing infatuation with the Gods and Goddesses in these fables that show the imperfections of mere mortals.  The stories are life lessons that show us how to not piss off the Gods and the chronicles of these characters fascinate me.  So whenever I was asked to review this book “Athena’s Promise” as part of the Aegean Trilogy, I couldn’t wait to read it.  This book shows what would happen if mythical creatures, fictional characters, and Gods and Goddesses walked amongst everyone else in this world and how the world changes because of it.  Overall, this novel delivers everything it wants to, but that doesn’t meant there aren’t any bumps along the way.

            From the beginning of the novel we are introduced to the novels protagonist, Pallas, a human mortal (possibly in her twenties, although I don’t remember if the novel ever reveals her age) who manages a hotel that is on the brink of shutting its doors for good.  Pallas has a lot on her plate from managing the staff made up of zombies, vampires, and pixies to dealing with unsatisfied guests to reporting back to the woman behind the hotel-Medusa herself.  I LOVED this part of the book.  Apparently there was this event in life called “The Crossing” that caused all of these worlds to collide.  I really would have liked to know more about this event in the book, but I imagine the author goes into more details with the other two books in the trilogy.  Ribken introduces us to so many “critters” in this world and brings forth new mythologies for some of them, which I really thought was creative and something your average fantasy reader wouldn’t expect.  For instance, zombies aren’t zombies at first, they are given a certain amount of time before they “turn” and when they do-it is ugly.  We meet suave, sexy Centaurs, diva singing mermaids, and money loving gnomes.

            My favorite character that Pallas must deal with is her boss, Medusa.  In Greek mythology, Medusa is one of the most hideous monsters with slithering snakes as her hair, and could turn anyone to stone if you looked at her.  Her character is a lot of fun in the book as the hotel owner.  She only stays in her office and watches the cameras throughout her hotel acting as a sort of game master.  Only a handful of people are allowed to enter her office to talk to her, so she is very secretive.  Medusa is very stylized and very descriptive with her snakes hissing whenever she is in a mood and her cool demure by smoking black cigarettes (which she stubs out regularly).   I loved her relationship with Pallas and hope this builds more throughout the trilogy.

            The novels protagonist, Pallas, is a very interesting character because I’m not sure if I really cared for her.  We see her struggle throughout the whole novel wonderfully, but that’s all I feel I knew about her.  Of course she’s smart, responsible, strong, powerful, and we can relate to her whenever she’s dealing with really incompetent people.  However, I felt she just kept rolling her eyes throughout the whole novel and that was a big problem for me.  It would have been nice to see her loosen up a bit and be a little happy about more things.  Granted that with her back ground story (which we learn later in the novel and it is excellent!) and everything the character goes through, we can certainly understand where she comes from, but a lot of the times she just seemed unpleasant.  I wanted to like her more because she is such a strong person, but I never felt that connection.  I cared for her some, I certainly didn’t want her to meet her maker in one of the books great climactic scenes featuring creepy spiders, but I wanted more from her.  Maybe this was because I felt she seemed a little immature mostly in part to her language.  I’m not a prude about curse words or foul language, but I often feel it dumbs down strong characters.  Plus, I was really put off by her use of the word “fucktard” and “fucktardery”.  Kids might use these words these days, but I really don’t feel as though this woman would use them.  Are they even words?

            Overall, it was a great, inventive, imaginative tale that had a lot of wonderful elements.  These elements include nice action scenes, a great sense of mystery, and a story arch that really explains the world these people live.  I was a little thrown off by the attitude of our lead because I felt she deserved more.  Hopefully when I read the other two books in the trilogy, Pallas will become the woman I see her and she will get her happy ending.  

                                                                         ****

Witchy Rating: 3 Black Cats



This review has been brought to you by The White Witch, Jadis at Witchy Reviews



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Witchy Review: Fraterfamilias by Judith Doloughan and Paula R. Stiles

Info:
Title: Fraterfamilias
Author: Judith Doloughan and Paula R. Stiles
Publisher: Innsmouth Free Press
Length: 330 Pages
Release Date: December 2010
Misc: ARC
Kindle edition given by publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis:
French artist Paul Farrell kills four people in Paris and walks into a hail of police fire at JFK Airport. A Russian history professor and shaman with a dark secret steals the body. Police on both sides of the Atlantic are on the case, but they each have secrets of their own. And a powerful enemy watches from the shadows, one who could destroy them all.

****
Review:
"It takes longer for the mind to heal itself than the body." Time, space, and vague but honest ignorance intertwine in this crime story set in the shadowy area of NYC. Opening with an intriguing and semi-violent scene that takes place in a crowded airport, we meet a large cast of characters, each an individual in their own right, who not only has their own particular demons to face but takes on the stress of an international, mass murder investigation, a missing "dead" body, and more and more unanswered questions.

The heart of the story are two supposed cousins; worn down and made weak by life. One smartly eludes the investigators while the other lay in a cheap motel in hopes to regain conscienceless after a fight with a police sniper's bullet. The story, and all it's supporting characters, run around NYC and the world in hopes to answer their questions, and satisfy their foreboding suspicions.

Fraterfamilias is not a quick or easy read. The narrative is more thick than the plot which required careful and sometimes lengthy reading sessions. Each character is developed with their own stylized choice of point of view so the reader has to pay attention and have the ability to switch between voices and tone. If you like a semi-heavy plot reminiscent of Victorian Era story telling (but not nearly as long) and international sensibilities glittered with supernatural notions, then Fraterfamilias is a must read.

****


Witchy Rating: 4 Black Cats

This review has been brought to you by Maleficent at Witchy Reviews






Saturday, November 10, 2012

Witchy Review: The Mighty Quinn by Paula R. Stiles

Title: The Mighty Quinn
Author: Paula R. Stiles
Publisher: Dark Continents Publishing, Inc
Length: 242 Pages
Release Date: September 2012
Misc: ARC
Kindle edition given by publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis:
There's a milk truck on the US/Canadian border with a detonated nuclear bomb that didn't explode and a pile of mummy dust for a driver. Vermont Homeland Security Agent Nan Carreira is having quite the morning and she hasn't even met her witness yet. Quinn Bolcan just got out of Vancouver, in a hurry and under a dark cloud. The last thing he was looking for in Vermont was trouble and that's the first thing he found. Soon, he and Carreira will be neck-deep in black helicopters, low-rent necromancers, zombie suicide bombers, and vengeful were-bikers. And that's just the beginning because Quinn is a wild card in a league all his own.

***

I was thrilled by the first paragraph of "The Mighty Quinn." Hell, by the first sentence, I pegged the novel as a page turner, one I couldn't see myself putting down. I could not have been more wrong. The reader is dropped into the middle of Quinn fleeing town after getting caught in a grow-op situation armed with a warning of "wares" as he travels and with a package that needs to be delivered across country. What began so strongly is quickly weakened by too many twists and turns, completely unnecessary subplots, and the confusing and exhausting constant first-person to third-person to first-person storytelling. Over and over and over again without a stitch to thread it all together.

Stiles fails the reader by getting too excited to bring in every aspect of the occult and every potential horror trope she can imagine. We have werewolves, ghouls, humans casting spells, demons, vampires…does the list end? Every trope has it's own subplot and the worst part? They don't resolve. It seems like this book could have been split into three different novels, all which I probably would have loved. Stiles is an incredible writer--her descriptive imagery puts pictures and scenes into the reader's mind that Hollywood would have sincere problems recreating visually and I often lost myself, thinking I might be feeling that breeze, or smelling that scent she so adequately describes.

Overall, would I recommend this novel? Yes, but with caution. The writing is both incredibly strong and incredibly weak. If you love the kind of authors who can get your mind turning with imagery, Stiles is the author for you. If you are easily annoyed by back and forth storytelling, pass. 

***  



Witchy Rating: 2 Black Cats


Opinion has been brought to you by Galinda at Witchy Reviews

Monday, October 29, 2012

Witchy Review: Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

Info:

Title: Bleeding Hearts (Demimonde #1)
Author: Ash Krafton
Publisher: Pink Narcissus Press
Length: 370 Pages
Release Date: March 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Misc: ARC
Kindle edition given by publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis:

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who is saving the world - one damned person at a time. Shy and sensitive Sophie has all but given up on love until she meets Marek, a mysterious stranger who seduces her with his striking good looks and his take-charge attitude. Yet the darkness she senses within him may be more than she is prepared to handle when Marek draws her into a world of vampires, werewolves, and treachery. Forced to leave behind the comfortable routines and certainties of her past, Sophie makes unbearable sacrifices and uncovers hidden truths about herself and the world around her.


***

Honestly, I did not know what to think whenever I was asked to review this novel. As you all know, I am a sucker for vampires and witches, so the synopsis was right up my alley. When I saw the cover, I was a little if-y. I know, I know, I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I did. Bleeding hearts?
At that point, I did not know what I was getting myself into. But, putting my bias aside, I read the first chapter and was COMPLETELY hooked. The authors voice is strong and I really loved Sophie's personality. I could relate to her sarcasm in awkward situations. Throughout, Mrs. Krafton's detail of mummies and Egypt reminded me of a lot of Deborah Harkness's writing style. If any of you have read the Discovery of Witches, you will know what I am talking about. I actually learned a few things from reading this novel, which was a nice surprise!

Krafton's descriptions are original and witty. She has a wonderful way of describing some of the simplest things, but with a twist. Her words put a smile on my face and brought me through an emotional roller coaster! I couldn't read it fast enough. Sophie's cat was such a great touch to the story. I loved that cat! Seriously!

Now on to the vampires: I really liked Ash's vampires. Like I said earlier, I love vampires! I had never read demivamps or full vamps. The way she described regular vampires was brilliant and disgusting all at the same time. Demivamps are pure sex and regular vamps are evil and nasty! Marek was a heart-throb and so was Rode, yes we are on a nickname basis. The club and screaming girls, was a great touch. It was different! Bravo, Ash! The best friend relationship with the priest was cute. I just imagined this kick ass hot priest the whole time, which I know I shouldn't, but I couldn't help it! Blame Ash for that! Also, I would like to mention that I was happy the letter thing was cleared up at the end. Phew. I did not know if that mystery would be solved!

Thank you for killing Donna off! teehee!

What I didn't really care for:
The Insta-love. To me, I felt like Sophie accepted Marek too quickly. In one chapter, we are meeting him outside of a cafe as a predator. In the next chapter, we are meeting him in the museum. I knew instantly it was the same person! Then in another chapter, they have been seeing each other for a few weeks. I wanted some sort of conflict or more conflict between them at the beginning.
I was happy when he warned her and forced her into the church but I felt like that was a little too late. If there would have been more conflict between then earlier, then build a trusting relationship, and end it how it was, I think their relationship would have had a stronger impact on me as a reader but that is just my opinion!


Not really a "didn't care for" but I did find a few typo's throughout the novel. I am not complaining, but am a close reader. It happens to the best of us. I received an ARC so my version may not be the most updated. Here is one that was close to the end.
Jared says "Leave Sophie go, or else." I think it should say Let.
Another was: "he turn away from the crowd and slumped slightly as he rested his elbows on the bar."
I believe it should say turned. :) Not trying to nitpick, just an FYI for the publisher incase they wanted to update those. There were a few others closer to the beginning but I don't remember them. Those stuck out because I just read them.


***

Overall, I REALLY enjoyed this one. I would defiantly read the second novel whenever it is released. Krafton is such a talented author and has such a wonderful way with words... her voice is brilliant! I loved her vamps and the depth she gave them. The world she created was original and intriguing. Would recommend this one to others. I am totally looking forward to seeing what happens next!



Witchy Rating: 4 Black Cats


Opinion has been brought to you by Elphie at Witchy Reviews

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feature & Follow Bloghop #3



Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted 
This is our 3rd week to participate!!!!!! YAY!!! So excited!! 




Q: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.


1. Insta-love. Cannot stand it when characters are instantly in love with each other. Why not create some sort of conflict? It isn't realistic and makes their relationship seemed forced.

2. Huge Cliff Hangers. When I am really into a book and the author purposely ends on a huge cliff hanger so you'll buy the next book. This is just a turn-off and makes me want to not finish. I don't demand an ending, just some sort of closure to book 1 with the lure of other cool things in book 2. 

3. When writers don't say what they mean. Recently, I have read a few novels where I have no idea what the author is trying to say. I love beautiful prose as much as the next person, but sometimes it is just toooooo much! 



 

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