Delve into the depths of mysterious happenings and rebirth in the book When Shadows Turn Dark!

I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

When Shadows Turn Dark

by Vidya Anand

Published by Notion Press, March 2016

When Shadows Turn Dark

About the Book:

Anirudh is clouded with the mysteries of a past life, which he relives through his nightmares. Though his logical mind denies it, he sets out to unravel the secrets about the girl in his dreams, Chitrangada, and her brutal death.

His friends, Madhav and Trisha, support him through his inner battle.

In another part of the world, Sanjana and Abhimanyu are happy in their lives, quite unaware that they are also destined to become a part of this cryptic game.

Will Anirudh be able to save himself from slipping completely into the past?

When Shadows Turn Dark is a tale about friendship, love, betrayal and revenge that interweaves the lives of these people.

A tale about the mystical world of rebirth, and much more!

My Thoughts:

I did not enjoy this book much and I had to concentrate hard to get through it. The main plot seems to have come right out of a Bollywood script, with so many similarities that it is not so easy to distinguish which is original and which is not.

Anirudh, the protagonist, has had dreams about the death of a girl named Chitra, his entire life and he doesn’t know why. He doesn’t even know who she is. Sanjana, the descendant of princess Chitrangada, who lived almost 100 years ago, suddenly experiences changes in moods and we have no idea why. Set in a time when everyone has secrets and won’t talk openly, the concept of rebirth is frowned upon. The story draws upon the past to define the present and the decisions of the various characters take the story forward.

The characters are not very interesting or well developed. The reader is not given much to go on and it is quite difficult to relate to the characters. The women are created under the usual stereotypes of gossip, giggles and being bothered about guys more than their work or career. The men are shallow and there is no depth in the character personalities.

The story runs in two parallels, present day, and a story-line from almost 100 years ago, about which the protagonist has been having dreams his entire life. It doesn’t seem as though a lot of research has gone into the career choice of the characters and it’s ironic how they all end up in the same palace that the past refers to. Even though his friend Madhav has been shown as supportive, the characters never really express themselves and the reader doesn’t know what they are really thinking or how they fit into this story.

There is a lot of repetition of points and this acts as a deterrent while reading, making it difficult to concentrate. Also, while bringing together the past and present, and introducing the concept of rebirth, there is no clarity in the plot. When all the characters meet (this is extremely brief), there is no explanation or connection to what they have experienced. It’s just a short connection and then all of a sudden they all go their own ways. This makes the story uninteresting as it ends up flowing without coherence of thought. The story could have been brought out better with a little more explanation and stronger background information.

On the whole, however, the story is simply written and if you’re looking for a quick read that doesn’t need much thought, this is worth a shot.

Book Review: Skyblind by J.R. Fehr

About the Book:

Skyblind

Corwin Medisto is turning 16 and becoming a man, but that’s the furthest thing from his mind. He and his twin sister Taylee have discovered an ancient relic fueled by dark magic that has a mysterious link to their long dead mother. Worse yet, they’ve accidentally activated it.

Desperate to learn the truth of its origins and to break free of its curse, the twins leave home with their childhood friend and embark on a quest that leads them to come face to face with Syyris Sagrado, the god of Day, and discover a forbidden power greater than the forces of Day … and Night.

My Thoughts:

Wow. First off, I absolutely loved this story. Think in terms of a cross between the world Harry Potter and The Lord of The Rings and you have a wonderful new world with an exciting plot.

The story follows the journey of Corwin and his twin sister Taylee. They accidentally activate an old relic that was somehow connected to their mother. When they go in search of their uncle for help, they are caught up in a web of deception and greed. They follow the path and end up at face to face with the god of Day, whom they so ardently worshiped.

The author introduces us to some very strong characters apart from the main brother-sister duo. A mysterious man who calls himself Skyblind, comes to their aid and changes the way they perceive things. Salana, the princess and heir to the throne is portrayed as a strong independent woman who commands respect and is fair. The author subtly brings out what blind faith can do and how it can affect people.

This is not just a quest, or an adventure to stop the bad guys, but also one of self-discovery and understanding the importance of power and how it can be misused. The reader discovers how greed and complacency as well as blind faith can affect the people. It is also very easy to get lost along the way. As the journey progresses, the twins also find out about their parents and their past. Life is not always black and white, there is also grey thrown in with a lot of uncertainty.

This story is filled with adventure and some interesting points of view that the author expresses but doesn’t preach about. It is thought provoking and the story is an enjoyable read!

Book Review: Fae of Calaveras series (book 1 and 2) by Kristen S Walker

About the Books:

Small Town Witch (The Fae of Calaveras County #1)

Small Town Witch (The Fae of Calaveras County, #1)

The perfect life . . . or the perfect lie.

Teen witch Rosamunde thinks she has it all: friends, parties, a happy family, and magic at her fingertips. But something dark lurks underneath the surface. When Rosa uncovers strange spells in her house, the illusion of the perfect life begins to crack, hinting at family secrets she never imagined.
With the help of her friends and the handsome kitsune Kai, Rosa peels back the layers of lies. Her search for the truth will take her far from home, into the dangerous Land of Faerie . . . but if the truth threatens her family’s apparent happiness, will she choose to live with the lie or break the enchantment that binds them all?

Witch Hunt (The Fae of Calaveras County #2)

Witch Hunt (Fae of Calaveras, #2)

She wished her mom would disappear. Now her mom’s missing, and all she wants is to find her again.

Teen witch Rosamunde broke the spell her mother, Rosmerta, used to control her family and reported the illegal use of magic to the Faerie Court. So her mom became a fugitive from the law, taking Rosa’s younger sister Akasha with her. When none of the faeries can track down her mother, Rosa realizes that she’ll have to be the one to find her mom.

Rosa takes a dangerous risk: getting close to the mysterious exiled Unseelie who helped her mother go into hiding. To gain their trust, she’ll have to break the rules. Her faeriekin friends, Ashleigh and Glen, and kitsune boyfriend, Kai, worry that she’s getting in too deep. But for the chance to confront her mother and save her sister, Rosa will sacrifice anything . . . maybe even the things that she believes in the most.

My Thoughts:

 I read 2 of the 3 books in the series and found them to be a decent read in the YA genre with a whole lot of fantasy thrown in. Writing about and handling teenagers is rather difficult, but the author manages to bring out their characteristics with perfection.

The writing is simple and the story line is interesting with a setting in a small town where both magic folk and humans co-exist. The humans know about the vampires, sorcerers and others and even go to school with them. There is a lot of fun and everything seems perfect in Rosamunde’s little world, right up until she starts to ask questions. This leads to a shattering of her previous perceptions and changes everything, turning her world upside down. What do you do when the world as you know it is not actually how it is?

The story on the whole is entertaining and fun with its serious moments. An enjoyable read, the story is well introduced and light in the first book, then takes on a slightly more serious tone with adventure and exploration thrown in.

Read it to know more!

Book Review: Ascendant (book 1) and Midheaven (book 2) by Rebecca Taylor

About the Books:

Ascendant (book 1):

Ascendant by Rebecca Taylor

When I was twelve, my mother disappeared. I was the first person to never find her. I’m sixteen now and she has never been found, alive or dead. I’m not the girl I should have been.

When Charlotte Stevens, bright but failing, is sent to stay at her mother’s childhood home in Somerset England her life is changed forever. While exploring the lavish family manor, Gaersum Aern, Charlotte discovers a stone puzzle box that contains a pentagram necklace and a note from her mother-clues to her family’s strange past and her mother’s disappearance.

Charlotte must try to solve the puzzle box, decipher her mother’s old journals, and figure out who is working to derail her efforts-and why. The family manor contains many secrets and hidden histories, keys to the elegant mystery Charlotte called mom and hopefully, a trail to finding her.

Midheaven (book 2):

Midheaven (Ascendant Trilogy, #2)

As Above, So Below

As the direct descendant of Francis Bacon (aka Shakespeare) Charlotte is the next Ascendant. She is destined to teach mankind the secret mysteries of alchemy.

If only she knew what those were.

With her father’s stone box, and her mother’s first key, Charlotte will quest around the world to solve the puzzle and reveal its secret.

Unless Emerick gets her first.

My Thoughts:

Since I read these books continuously, one after the other, I decided to post a combined review. In general, I enjoyed the premise of the story and the events that occurred to take it forward. The story is written decently and will ensure the reader continues on until the end. The author manages to build up some amount of mystery and intrigue.

However, the protagonist is decent at best, but she gets rather whiny and annoying. Her attentions are directed towards the two guys showering her with attention and she is torn between them in the usual cliched style. At times she comes across as shallow, and at others, someone with a strong mind. She sets out to find the meaning to the clues left behind by her parents. As the story unfolds, the reader is drawn into a world of drama, secrets, betrayal.

The story lacked in precise character development and a deeper premise than was there. It was easy to figure out what might happen next and the books did not make me want to keep turning the pages. Having said this, there are parts that are interesting and had potential. A stronger focus on the characters, creating complex personalities and a more interesting twist to the plot would have made it gripping. Though there was some adventure and mystery thrown in, it just made the story more confusing. It was just another book in the usual style of having a clue and trying to decipher it while also trying to keep it away from the bad guys.

Bottom-line: Read the book. You may or may not like it, but you can form an opinion by yourself.

Grab a free copy of SKYBLIND from March 11th-15th on Amazon

SKYBLIND by J.R. Fehr will be available for free on Amazon for kindle, from March 11th-15th 2017.

Grab a copy of the book here during that period.

Read on to know more about the book. Look out for my review of SKYBLIND in the upcoming weeks.

About the Book:

In a world with only two seasons – Day and Night – light is all that separates the living from the cursed. For when Night falls, the Locura plague the land…

Corwin Medisto is turning 16 and becoming a man, but that’s the furthest thing from his mind. He and his twin sister Taylee have discovered an ancient relic fueled by dark magic that has a mysterious link to their long dead mother. Worse yet, they’ve accidentally activated it.

Desperate to learn the truth of its origins and to break free of its curse, the twins leave home with childhood friend Tray’o and embark on a quest that leads them to come face to face with Syyris Sagrado, the god of Day, and discover a forbidden power greater than the forces of Day … and Night.

About the Author:

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

Book Review: Sky Riders: Bright Star by Erin Swan

I found this book on Inkitt and got around to reading it. I was hooked immediately from the first chapter and didn’t stop until the end! Read on to know my thoughts.

Find the book on Inkitt here.

About the Book:

The Golden Era of the Guardians has passed, and the land of Paerolia has begun to slip into darkness once again. A slave in the judges’ palace, Andra has known only torment and terror her entire life. But when Kael, the leader of the rebel Freemen, breaks into the palace, Andra finds herself thrown headlong into a life she never imagined, into the midst of a rebellion that could change her future and the future of Paerolia. But the past is hard to escape, and Fate can be unkind. Alongside Kael, Andra must discover the strength that has always been within her and fight to win back what Fate kept beyond her reach—a dragon that should have been her own, and a man whose heart she can never hope to win.

My Thoughts:

It’s been a while after reading the Inheritance cycle (Eragon and other books in the series) that a book in the same fantasy fiction genre has captivated me so much. At first I was skeptical of the plot and was unsure whether this story would be any different, but I am happy to be proved wrong.

The story is wonderful, well thought out and crisp. The plot flows easily from one scene to the next and the characters are well developed and highly complex. Andra, a slave in the Judges’ household, when brought away from there, struggles to understand the life of freedom. The author as described this and captured the feelings and mental torture the girl went through. We are shown how Andra deals with the trauma and abuse she has endured and how this shapes her into a strong individual. Kael, with his charming personality, also has secrets which come out as the story unfolds.

It is difficult not to fall in love with Eithne and Tiri, the dragons who are a constant presence. Though some parts of the plot may seem familiar, it is far from predictable. The way the Freemen bring out a change and the pivotal role the protagonists play, along with their friends is what sets this story apart. Moreover, the author’s writing is clear and easy to understand. The conversations and internal discussions that the characters have, are highlighted for easy differentiation. Also, bring in some well placed romance and the plot is complete.

An overall gripping read, this book will ensure that the reader will not stop until the very end. The overall plot is rounded up beautifully leaving no room for questions.

Book Review: Fairy Eyeglasses (Fairy Senses #1) by Emily Martha Sorensen

About the Book:

Fairy Eyeglasses (Fairy Senses #1)

When Cassie finds a magic pair of glasses that allow her to see fairies, she has to figure out where they came from . . . and what the fairies want her to do with them.

A 12,000 word children’s fantasy story.

My Thoughts:

I got this short story for free and it proved to be a fairly quick and fun read. Written in simple language, easily understandable by children, the author brings us a story of Eyeglasses that allow the protagonist to see Fairies when she wears them. The author also introduces us to Cassie’s parents and show us that when the child turns to her parents with her dilemma, they come forward with understanding instead of turning her away. There are also some lessons as a part of the story in this that children can learn from, including the primary colors of art and light, their differences and the encouragement for children to ask questions and learn.

Even though this is a short story for children, I enjoyed it immensely and thought it was quite fun. The fairies are well described and children will love them. Moreover, the simplicity of the plot and the point of the Eyeglasses prove to be captivating.

Blog Tour: The Magician’s Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

This post is part of the Blog Tour for the series being conducted by b00k r3vi3w tours

There will be Guest Posts by the authors, interviews and reviews of the books posted on various participating bloggers on their respective blogs.

About the Books:

 

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Published by: Wondertale, California
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 1-945353-11-2
ASIN: B01MQGHGBH
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.
Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages

Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads

 
Synopsis:
Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

 

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Print Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Wondertale
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
ASIN: B01N988TW7
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.

Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads

 

 

Synopsis:
Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.

 

About the Authors:

 

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

 

J.R. Fehr
When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

 

Contact the Authors:
Website * Facebook

Book Blitz: Court of Vampires by Megan Linski

Court of Vampires
Megan Linski
(The Shifter Prophecy #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Mythology, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Vampires and werewolves shouldn’t fall in love.

Lysandra was born for one reason; to kill shifters. Princess of vampires, the heir to Vlad Dracula’s throne and the last descendant of Princess Anastasia, Lysandra lives in a castle of witches and human slaves,engaged to a dark vampire prince and prophesied as the one who will end the war between vampires and werewolves forever.

Everything changes when Lysandra finds a dying werewolf. She takes him into her care and quickly falls in love, unable to explain the magical connection between them. If she’s discovered, she will be put to death. But how can she stop the war when her worst enemy is her true love?

A heart-stopping love story filled with shocking twists, Court of Vampires is a thrilling young adult fantasy that readers will devour over and over again. The legend of what really happened to the Romanov family is retold in Megan Linski’s newest haunting paranormal romance.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing and has had a passion for writing ever since she was a little girl. Her specializations are romance, fantasy, and contemporary fiction for teens and adults. When not writing, she enjoys ice skating, horse riding, and being outdoors. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder.

In December 2016, Megan signed a deal with Amazon’s Kindle Press for her Kindle Scout Winner, Court of Vampires, due to be published 2017. You can find Megan at http://www.meganlinski.com, and receive a FREE book, The Witch’s Curse, by signing up for her VIP List there.

Megan Linski also writes under the pen name of Natalie Erin for the Creatures of the Lands Series, co-authored with Krisen Lison.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book Review: The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud

What happens when you walk into a book fair, find books that you’d once read and then discover more books by those same authors? You’re right! You cannot help but be hit with a strong sense of nostalgia!

And once it kicks in, there’s no stopping the onslaught of memories.

It was this same feeling that prompted me to pick up this book by Jonathan Stroud. After all, my mind reasoned, it will be worthwhile coming from the author of the famous Bartimaeus series.

About the Book:

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

My Thoughts:

A truly wonderful book and concept, this book will ensure that you are hooked from the first page. The story is divided into parts, jumping into the middle of the plot in the beginning itself, then looping back in time to give us some background and perspective, and then charging right on. The best part? All these seemingly unconnected situations all come together in the end and wrap the plot up neatly.

The characters are brilliant, smart, funny, naughty but with a depth that will surprise the reader. There is more to them than meets the eye and it becomes rather clear as we read. Anthony Lockwood proves to be something of an enigma, not only to Lucy but to the reader as well. He is charming for a youngster, conducts himself as well as the elders and still manages to hide some things from everyone. Lucy is likeable and strong, with a talent that far surpasses both the boys. Together the trio set out to make London a safer place, protecting people from ghosts. The climax and the sequences leading up to it are intense and perhaps the best part of the entire book, but what stands out is how every seemingly random situation has a connection in the end. Everything is vital to the plot and it helps to pay attention to even the smallest of details.

It felt really great to immerse myself in this story. The author, with his wonderful storytelling ability, vividly describes each situation and haunting. Every case that the trio take up, we are given a chance to imagine what is happening, sometimes we can even see it playing in our mind. This just points to the wonderful way the author has with words. The characters are well developed and the basis of the plot along with the back story of how the various agencies came into existence makes this book all the more interesting. The ending leaves us with just enough information to want to continue the series.

Overall, not just for the sake of nostalgia, but for the beauty of the story, I strongly urge all my fellow fans of fantasy, ghosts and mystery to read this book!