I won my copy of The Demon Girl's Song in an awesome prize bundle I received when I attended the FaceboOriginally reviewed at West Coast Book Reviews.
I won my copy of The Demon Girl's Song in an awesome prize bundle I received when I attended the Facebook release party. I'm not sure why I chose to read it first. Perhaps the title intrigued me as it promised a binding of darkness, innocence and beauty. I was not disappointed.
The Demon Girl's Song was a lovely combination of many things. History, magic and gender expectations to name a few. Andín comes to us with her heartfelt desire taken away. She's quickly stripped of everything else she's given to take the place of her dream of university.
I really liked that Andín didn't choose to love the person she did 'because' of the demon or anything else. She loved Yshe because of the people they were.
Andín's journey, both in travel and self discovery, is touching, adventurous and empowering. For all the action, danger and fear she experiences in her travels, she's a wonderful character. She's strong, gentle and loves so much.
Bigelow has a delightful hand for crafting such a bold story. The scope of her many-countried land balances nicely with its comprehensive but not overwhelming history. Very much recommended....more
I found Legacy of Dragonwand to be a great start to this series. It's middle-grade/YA appropriate fantaOriginally reviewed at West Coast Book Reviews.
I found Legacy of Dragonwand to be a great start to this series. It's middle-grade/YA appropriate fantasy with wands (of course), magic, evil wizards and a level headed young hero.
Markus leaves home shortly before his sixteenth birthday in the hopes of becoming a wizard. After years of dark dreams of fire and dragons, its his destiny. Much to his surprise, he finds much more than he wished for.
Legacy of Dragonwand thrives with balanced pacing, voice and observations suitable to its teen protagonist. It's a teen's story told as Markus himself would tell it which is much appreciated. Too many times I've read middle-grade/YA books that come off as the interference of a meddling parent. This one doesn't and I found it really let me, as a reader, fit in to Markus' head and his world.
I enjoyed the different races and cultures and my favourite place is the Rakki village and library. The imagery made it seem real and inviting and the behaviour details of the Rakki themselves felt appropriate for the species (dogkind) and an effective tool with which to give details of individuals' personalities.
The plot has well placed layers. Even characters we know will be trouble are themselves outmaneuvered (whether they know it or not) and the ending of the story is well positioned to move forward. It ends set to rock into the next volume and even though we don't yet (at time of posting) have a soft release date I'm confident Peyton's consistent pacing and storytelling will make it an easy transition in spite of the wait.
Legacy of Dragonwand is recommended for all ages....more
I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Minder Rising is the second in Van Natta's Central Galactic Concordance series. The third, Pico's Crush, is expected around the end of January and follows characters introduced in the first book, Overload Flux. Minder Rising can be read standalone, though I highly recommend reading Overload Flux as well.
As with Overload Flux, characters drive Minder Rising. Though we only learn a few general details about Lièrén's past, he smoothly adapts his skills to investigating the threat to his unit. As a bartender and road construction crew boss, Imara does not come off as classic heroine. She's tough, clever, honest and has my respect as a realistic female lead. Her son Derrit displays a good balance between his childhood and his fierce devotion to protect his mother following the loss of his father.
As I read, I became aware interactions between Lièrén and Imara lacked copious sidelong glances, urgent heartbeats and salacious inner voices oogling each other's physical appearance. As I came to know them, I understood having those sorts of inner dialogues would be out of character. Lièrén comes from a big, respectful family and Imara is cautious to avoid involvement with someone she considers a 'transient' out of concern for Derrit. While I appreciated their inner maturity, I wouldn't have minded seeing them enjoy more emotionally close moments together.
I'm very fond of the supporting characters in this book, particularly the flamboyant, charming and instantly likeable Rayle. I don't think I'll ever tire of a well done character who fits the "social glue" role in a story. He's nosy, which he can't help since he's an empath, but he only uses it out of a desire to help others even if they're not ready for it.
*crosses fingers and wishes for more Rayle*
In addition to the great characters, I loved imagining the glass-like construction of the Spires and the layers of plot tied together throughout. I also liked learning about something one character has done through the eyes of another. It happened several times and I found it to be more suspenseful than if we saw the setup with one character and the discovery by another. Van Natta also build up the world of minders and the CPS in a way that grows on what I learned in Overload Flux while giving a complete and thorough world descriptions to someone starting the series with Minder Rising.
At the beginning of month, I put a request out on my Facebook author page for an Indie book to feature on West Coast Book Reviews blog for September.At the beginning of month, I put a request out on my Facebook author page for an Indie book to feature on West Coast Book Reviews blog for September. The only stipulations were it be Science Fiction or Fantasy, be Indie and the author provide the Amazon.ca link. In the end my daughter picked one to read with me and I used random.org to pick one for West Coast Book Reviews.
That's how I found Theresa Snyder and The Helavite War.
I liked the old-school video game look of the cover. I remember pushing quarters into arcade games with the same feel, picturing myself in space and doing good for the galaxy. To me, each sun on the blue background promises an adventure and I'm pleased I got exactly that.
The Helavite War is the first in a series of six young adult Sci-Fi novels, the Star Traveler Series, which starts with the destruction of the Henu at the hands of the Others. Arr, a child at the time, and his brother were the only survivors. When Arr's brother dies, he's left alone. The only surviving Henu.
That is, until Jake and his dar-dolf arrive looking for a little peace and quiet.
I loved how the relationship between Jake and Arr grows and takes shape. Both are honest, good men who each find something they need in the other. Both make mistakes, both learn and they become inseparable friends. It's an amazing buddy story like Buzz and Woody from Toy Story and Steve and Sarah in Jeffrey M. Poole's The Prophecy. They are great companions first and foremost and I really felt the strain when they weren't together.
This book also has plenty of action. As a mercenary, Jake takes on jobs for pay from routing invaders to babysitting industrial operations and recovering kidnapping victims. Each little adventure they take builds on the whole and gives us hints of the Helavites, who take what they want from planets and destroy everything in their way. We get to see different planets and peoples to get a good feel for the galaxy Snyder builds.
If you're looking for some great space adventure, unique characters and to find out who loves the Raspberry Goo Chews more than anyone, strap in and take The Helavite War for a ride....more
Tessa's great grandmother Sophie is the last living person in her village to remember the day the adults disappeared and the fog came. Since then, nobody stepped into the fog and came out alive. The fog lived up to every creepy expectation I had including what makes it, what's in it and what's on the other side.
When Sophie dies, Tessa, Bastion and Connor leave the village as other trios have regularly done for decades. They expect their step into the fog will be their last though each leaves with the hope it won't.
In their quest to get help and save their village from a deadly illness, they find things they didn't expect.
I liked Tessa and Bastion together though would have liked to see them together more. (view spoiler)[Tessa's choice to abandon him for his own protection makes sense. In a man it would be honourable but for a young woman it's selfish. Bastion returns to the village, thinking she's done the same. He's done it to protect her, which we expect of him as the hero. (hide spoiler)]
Nobody is completely good. Each has their own flaws and gives us reason to judge them. I felt free to make up my own mind about the characters which allowed me to either cheer them on or shake my head, wondering why they don't avoid the wrong choice. (cue ominous music)
And the antagonist? Didn't like her at all, didn't feel I was supposed to and yes, I really wanted her to get it in the end.
I also liked the fighting and of course the dragons. The fog doesn't extend forever and I don't think the true reason the village was hidden is revealed. I'm more than sufficiently intrigued to need the next in the series, Hunted, and if it were out now I'd be nose deep in it.
Recommended for older YA readers. I wouldn't for my twelve year old due to the obvious off-sceen sex but in a few years that will change to a definite yes.
Four dragons out of five.
Loved the dragons and the heroine. I would have loved more foreshadowing but the pace, mystery and creepiness moved things along just fine....more
I found Between by Cyndi Tefft to be delightful and have shamelessly read it twice! Tefft carefully unwraps her characters revealing them to us and toI found Between by Cyndi Tefft to be delightful and have shamelessly read it twice! Tefft carefully unwraps her characters revealing them to us and to each other. The emotions they project from her pages are tangible and deep and worth the investment of buying in to them. Between is a book that I have not hesitated to recommend and will continue to bring up whenever I'm asked if I've read anything fantastic lately. Cyndi Tefft, you have truly satisfied my sweet tooth!...more