Indie Focus: Review Of Just Breathe By Sarah Doughty


URBAN FANTASY’S BEST KEPT SECRET!

AN UNFORGETTABLE HEROINE MUST DISCOVER HERSELF IN ORDER TO CONQUER THE DEMONS OF HER PAST BEFORE IT DESTROYS HER

 

Book CoverJust Breathe
(Earthen Witch, Book 1)

Sarah Doughty

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 409 Pages
Date: 28th April 2015

ISBN-13: 978-1310871580

 
This is a perma-free ebook available from:
Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords
 

A young writer burdened with terrible psychological baggage from her past, struggles to make sense of her life and who she is in the wake of discovering a long-held family secret revealed by her recently deceased grandmother. If learning that she is a witch wasn’t hard enough to contend with, nothing can prepare her for being thrust to the centre of an unseen conflict in the paranormal world that will see her confronted by those who wish to destroy her, those who wish to steal her power, and an implacable enemy determined to do both. If she is to survive, she must be stronger than she’s ever been before. Stronger than she believes she can be.

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Review: Blood Price By Tanya Huff


NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE…

A GREAT PROTAGONIST JUST ISN’T ENOUGH TO ELEVATE THIS RUN-OF-THE-MILL STORY TO GREAT HEIGHTS.

 

Book CoverBlood Price
(Vicki Nelson Series, Book 1)

Tanya Huff

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
Date: 7th October 2004 (First Published 1991)

ISBN-10: 1841493562
ISBN-13: 978-1841493565

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

A series of brutal murders in Toronto gives rise to sensationalist reports about a vampire terrorising the city; all the victims had their throats torn out and their bodies drained of blood. Of course, nobody―not even the headline writers―believes that vampires are real, and one man in the city has a vested interest in ensuring this remains the case. Henry Fitzroy sleeps during the day, works at night, and hasn’t noticeably aged in four centuries. Joining forces with a former detective turned private investigator, Vicki Nelson, he sets out to eliminate a supernatural killer before anyone discovers there is more to him than meets the eye.

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Review: Undead And Unwed By MaryJanice Davidson


CHICK-LIT IN URBAN FANTASY CLOTHING!

A HEROINE WHO MAKES SOOKIE SEEM DEEP. A TALE SO BAD IT’S GOOD ENOUGH TO BE A GUILTY PLEASURE.

 

Book CoverUndead And Unwed
(Queen Betsy Series, Book 1)

MaryJanice Davidson

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Piatkus
Format: Paperback, 288 Pages
Date: 2nd February 2006 (First Published 2004)

ISBN-10: 0749936452
ISBN-13: 978-0749936457

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

There are certain books that can only be enjoyed when approached as guilty pleasures, not to be taken too seriously (or at all). MaryJanice Davidson’s comedic urban fantasy debut, Undead And Unwed is one such book that’s so bad it’s good enough to qualify. But in taking the comedy route the author cleverly sidesteps a lot of potential criticism of her story’s lack of literary merit by establishing that this is a book not to be taken seriously. It is played for laughs from beginning to end, and reads much like a supernatural incarnation of Ally McBeal.

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Review: Queen Of The Slayers By Nancy Holder


SUNNYDALE WAS ONLY THE WARM-UP…

NO VACATION. NO BENEFITS. AND THE ONLY RETIREMENT IS AN EARLY DEATH. THIS BOOK SHOULD LIKEWISE BE PUT OUT OF ITS MISERY.

 

Book CoverQueen Of The Slayers
(Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Nancy Holder

Genre: Media Tie-in, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Paperback, 392 Pages
Date: 30th June 2014 (First Published 2009)

ISBN-10: 1500369489
ISBN-13: 978-1500369484

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

It has been mentioned in a previous book review that media tie-in novels have a poor reputation, and that this negative perception is well earned. There’s no need to repeat, here, the various reasons for this; it is enough to state that everything wrong with media tie-in novels is present in Queen Of The Slayers―a hopelessly irredeemable Buffy The Vampire Slayer novel. As a result, this review will likely be very short given that this book has practically nothing going for it.

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Review: Master Of Crows By Grace Draven


A ROMANCE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!

EQUAL PARTS FANTASY AND ROMANCE THIS MUST READ TALE SKILLFULLY BLENDS EVERYTHING THAT’S GOOD ABOUT BOTH GENRES

 

Book CoverMaster Of Crows
(Master Of Crows, Book 1)

Grace Draven

Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Self-Published (Createspace)
Format: Paperback, 392 Pages
Date: 30th June 2014 (First Published 2009)

ISBN-10: 1500369489
ISBN-13: 978-1500369484

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

There has long been a stigma attached to self-published books. It is generally assumed that such works are of poor quality, and of lesser merit for lacking the validation of a publishing house behind them. In other words, a self-published author is a writer who wasn’t good enough to get an agent let alone a publishing contract. This attitude isn’t entirely unjustified. There is an abundance of material out there that isn’t fit to be published, and the advent of the ereader and the associated ebook marketplaces (most notably Amazon’s Kindle Store) has exacerbated the quantity of dreck available. However, the automatic assumption that self-published books are less worthwhile has started to shift. An increasing number of self-published gems are being unearthed by readers prepared to look, and among them is Master Of Crows.

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Review: Club Dead By Charlaine Harris


SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLUBBED TO DEATH

IS THERE A NICE WAY TO SAY A BOOK IS EVERY BIT AS VAPID AND VACUOUS AS ITS SIMPLE-MINDED PROTAGONIST?

 

Book CoverClub Dead
(The Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 3)

Charlaine Harris

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback, 288 Pages
Date: 20th October 2011 (First Published 2003)

ISBN-10: 0575117044
ISBN-13: 978-0575117044

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

From the outset, Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries has been a series that is best approached as a guilty pleasure of the “so bad it’s good” variety; for most readers this is the only hope of getting any enjoyment from reading the books. But even the adoption of this mindset is not enough to make book three, Club Dead, anything other than an awful read.

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Review: Superman Red Son By Mark Millar


NATURE OVERCOMES NURTURE

IN THE ELSEWORLDS ALTERNATE REALITY YOU CAN RELY ON SUPERMAN REMAINING THE SAME OLD MAN OF STEEL

 

Book CoverSuperman: Red Son
(An Elseworlds Story)

Mark Millar

Genre: Graphic Novel, Superheroes
Publisher: DC Comics
Format: Paperback, 168 Pages
Date: 15th April 2014 (First Published 2003)

ISBN-10: 1401247113
ISBN-13: 978-1401247119

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Despite being unarguably the world’s most recognisable superhero it is much harder to make a case for Superman being the most popular; certainly it’s far from being the truth today in the 21st century. The principal reason for this obvious discrepancy is the all too apparent reality that the Last Son of Krypton just isn’t perceived to be cool any more (if he ever was) in the way other comic book characters such as Batman, Spider-man, and Wolverine are. As for why Kal-El lacks the cool factor that many of his rivals possess, it’s entirely down to two things: firstly, he is such an unambiguously flawless personality whose virtuousness makes for a boring character; secondly, he is generally always depicted as being so overpowered that nothing and no one ever genuinely poses a threat to him (which again makes him less than interesting).

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Indie Focus: Review Of The Lost Sentinel By Suzanne Rogerson


BETTER TO PRESERVE LIFE, THAN DESTROY IT

A YOUNG WOMAN IS THRUST TO THE FOREFRONT OF A STRUGGLE TO SAVE AN ISLAND AND END THE PERSECUTION OF HER PEOPLE

 

Book CoverThe Lost Sentinel
(Silent Sea Chronicles, Book 1)

Suzanne Rogerson

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Suzanne Rogerson
Format: Paperback, 364 Pages
Date: 15st June 2017

ISBN-10: 1546622152
ISBN-13: 978-1546622154

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

DISCLAIMER:
An advance copy of this title was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced the content of the review, or the opinions expressed therein
.

Would the mention of people being hoodwinked into acting against their own interests by an unscrupulous political leader, exploiting their ignorance and prejudice to persuade them to scapegoat a minority group for all their problems, cause you to think of real world events? It probably would; as would the plight of refugees; as would hardships brought about by environmental issues. In this respect, The Lost Sentinel (book 1 of a new fantasy trilogy) by Suzanne Rogerson, is a very topical novel given that theses themes very apparently served as inspiration for the story, and are central to its plot.

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Review: Daughter Of The Blood By Anne Bishop


THE ONCE AND FUTURE QUEEN

FOR SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS THEY HAVE AWAITED THE FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY, NOW THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER

 

Book CoverDaughter Of The Blood
(The Black Jewels Trilogy, Book 1)

Anne Bishop

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Format: Paperback, 416 Pages
Date: 6st March 2014 (First Published 1998)

ISBN-10: 1848663552
ISBN-13: 978-1848663558

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

In a world of demonic realms, ruled by a sadistic matriarchy of rival witch queens; where men are subjugated and enslaved via magical penis rings, to be used as both sex slaves and as weapons (to destroy young, soon-to-be witches by savagely fucking away their virginity, leaving them permanently damaged and unable to use the Craft), a long overdue reckoning is coming. Three men: two brutalised sex slaves (half-brothers, and the illegitimate offspring of The High Lord of Hell) plus their estranged father, await the fulfilment of a seven hundred year old prophecy that will overturn the decadent, corrupt order of The Blood; the arrival of an all-powerful witch who will rule over all the realms. But there’s just one little snag. When she shows up, she’s a prepubescent kid who has no idea who she is destined to become; and so it is, the mismatched trio (and allies) must protect her before she can be destroyed, or worse, corrupted by The Blood.

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Review: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz By L. Frank Baum


FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

THE FITTINGLY WONDERFUL MODERN FAIRY TALE WITH BRAINS, HEART AND COURAGE THAT BECAME A TIMELESS CLASSIC

 

Book CoverThe Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
(The Oz Series, Book 1)

L. Frank Baum

Genre: Children’s Classic, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: Hesperus Press
Format: Paperback, 144 Pages
Date: 1st April 2013 (First Published 1900)

ISBN-10: 1843913909
ISBN-13: 978-1843913900

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

In the introduction to his defining work, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, American children’s author, L. Frank Baum mentioned that his purpose in writing the story was to bring about a new kind of fairy tale for children to enjoy. He was of the view that the traditional fairy tales of old should essentially be confined to the dustbin of history; that it was no longer required for children’s stories to be cautionary tales with moral lessons to impart, as morality was now part of a modern education. His goal was to make his book a modernised fairy tale that retained the excitement and entertainment, but did away with all the moralising. Whether his opinion of traditional fairy tales has merit or not is for others to decide.

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