Tag Archives: Fantasy

A Review of Inevitable Ascension by V. K. McAllister

Inevitable Ascension

by V. K. McAllister

Inevitable Ascension is all over the place. I mean it never stops moving. Violina and Lux hop across time and run into trouble no matter where or when they are. The whole book has nearly a video game feel to it. You don’t have any idea what is coming up next, because you don’t know whether this time and place is going to exist or not. Much of the plot is based on the idea that time travel to the past may change the present, but maybe not, because maybe the present already reflects the fact that time travel had already happened, or is going to happen. Try to get your brain around that idea. I was intrigued by this premise. It kept me interested.

Is Inevitable Ascension great literature? No, but is a very different book, and fun to read. Will you like it? I don’t know, I did. Sometimes I got a bit confused, but I always found my way back. I enjoyed the concept and the action. The writing was a bit hit and miss, at times, but it worked for me. Overall, a unique and fun book. Kind of a YA, Steampunk, Fantasy, Time Travel, Action Adventure. If that sounds like your kind of book, then I think that you will like it.

I give Inevitable Ascension 4 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up!

I received a Digital Review Copy from the author.

Book Description

1Violina, a girl polarized by love and loathing, finds herself thrown into a post-apocalyptic world with mankind on the brink of extinction. Discovering the means to travel back in time, she sets out to save the world by preventing the events leading up to the apocalypse. But as her quest advances, she becomes increasingly disgusted by the evil inherent to humanity and seeks lethal justice against all who wrong her—a list that grows exponentially until it encompasses all of mankind.

What was it that gave people the right to live?  Was it simply being born?  No. Everyone is born to no credit of their own. It’s the choices people make that determine whether they deserve their lives, and by that standard, everyone Violina knew deserved to die — everyone except for Lux.

Book Details

File Size: 706 KB
Print Length: 236 pages
Publisher: KZA, LLC (September 12, 2015)
Publication Date: September 12, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B015AS2FTA
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Who is V. K. McAllister?

We’re a husband/wife duo with a unique approach to writing. We work simultaneously and in secret before combining what we come up with, resulting in dramatic and unexpected twists! Crazy? Yes, yes it is, but it’s surprisingly fun and effective. 🙂

A Review of Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere

The NightShade Forensic Files Book 1:
Under Dark Skies

by A.J. Scudiere

This book was a very pleasant surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I read the blurb about Under Dark Skies. After seeing the cover, I thought that there might be some sort of werewolf or dark fantasy sort of thing going on, but figured that I would give it a shot anyway. (I really don’t like most werewolf books.) Well, this wasn’t what I expected at all.

A.J. Scudiere is a very talented writer. She grabbed me right away. She had me interested from the Pre-Introduction, The Science of Myth. Her scientific analyses of witches, vampires, zombies, and werewolves got me interested and drew me right in. Then the Introduction proved that Ms. Scudiere knew what she was doing. She had an idea and the skill to bring that idea to fruition.

Even though this book has fantasy elements, it feels more like the X-Men rather than Twilight. These characters feel more like mutants instead of paranormal creatures. And just like the X-Men, these are people with some added enhancements who struggle to deal with the guilt from their past, and how to accept, and use their talents in the present. Ms. Scudiere has taken an outstanding premise and turned it into an exciting first book in a new series. This is one series that I am looking forward to following. If there is a way to become a fan of NightShade, put me on the list.

Even though Under Dark Skies will never be mistaken for “Great Literature”, I loved it! I had a great time reading it. A.J Scudiere know what she is doing. Therefore I’m giving Under Dark Skies 5 Stars out of 5. and Two Big Thumbs Up! I hope that you like it as much as I did.

I was sent a Digital Review Copy by the publisher.

Book Description

Under Dark SkiesIn NightShade, nothing is as it seems . . .

As a former medical examiner, Donovan Heath is a natural investigator, but he’s not really comfortable working with live people. So he’s shocked to be offered a spot in the FBI’s secretive division, NightShade. Even more interesting: his new partner, Eleri, is generating some pivotal intel, seemingly out of nowhere, and refuses to reveal her sources.

After the disaster of her last case, Eleri Eames sees NightShade as her salvation in the Bureau, but something is seriously off about the whole division. And she’s growing more and more convinced that her new partner may not be completely . . . human.

In case their first assignment—finding a charismatic cult leader and his true believers—isn’t difficult enough, Donovan and Eleri are also charged with finding another Agent’s missing daughter. The stakes may be too high. It seems they can’t save the innocent without sacrificing something of themselves.

Will their secrets save them . . .
or destroy them?

Book Details

Release: April 2, 2015
Publisher: Griffyn Ink
ISBN: 978-1-937996-36-9
Price: $14.95 Paperback
Price: $7.99 e-book
Pages: 366

About the Author

AJ_Scudiere_headshotAt heart a biologist and an avid student, A.J. Scudiere writes about the possibilities that keep us up late at night. She is the author of numerous award-winning suspense novels, including Resonance, God’s Eye, Phoenix, The Shadow Constant, and The Sin Trilogy: Vengeance, Retribution, and Justice. A.J.  lives outside Nashville in an ironically idyllic setting full of wildlife and open spaces. Currently, she’s at work on The NightShade Forensic Files series.

 

A Review of From a Killer’s Mind by Jason Helford

From a Killer’s Mind

by Jason Helford

From a Killer’s Mind was a very hard book for me to read. It was just too intense! I don’t really want to spend time inside a sadistic serial killer’s mind. Mr. Helford puts you right there, with all the horrific, and terrible thoughts and desires that are living inside of John’s sick, twisted mind. You relive his childhood abuse, and every page brings some new horror. There just is no relief.

If you can take such a vividly lifelike horror story and not have nightmares, and you want to feel the insanity of a totally crazed killer, then this is the book for you. Mr. Helford will grab your mind and twist it, pushing it to new depths of depravity and ugliness. He won’t let up.

Everything was perfect about this book. The writing was tight and convincing. John was portrayed as a completely horrible person. His life was a nightmare. Way too much of a nightmare for me. I could only read this book by day. So how do I rate this? If this is your kind of book, I bet that you will rate it a 5, but I could barely stand to finish it. So I guess I will compromise and come to a middle ground.

I’m going to rate From a Killer’s Mind 4 Stars out of 5. If this book sound like something you might like, you probably will eat it up.

I received this book from the author.

Book Description

From a Killers Mind - CoverThe prologue is a vignette that brings the reader into the tone and setting of the novel, giving a foreshadowing of the events that will unfold.  It starts with newlyweds on a happy day, looking at a prospective home, but ends in tragedy due to an evil resonance attached to the house.  This leads the reader to the beginning of John’s story.

John has been a successful serial killer for his entire adult life, committed to his craft without detection or disruption.  He’s spent years refining his process and meticulously planning out each kill, honing his abilities to horrible heights.  At the start of the novel, the reader is introduced to John going about the routine of his particular method of selection and abduction.  The plans are well-rehearsed, but his dark life is abruptly disrupted as something even darker wells out from deep within him.  What starts out as one dissociative lapse–a blackout on the road–turns into a series of uncontrollable blackouts, unraveling his carefully wrought control.  John tries to re-center his mind through meditation–a technique he taught himself as a young man, to quiet his chaotic thoughts–but while John is deep within himself, he finds unfamiliar dark voices, voices not his own.  They claw past his defenses and force themselves into John’s reality, manifesting from out of the depths of his subconscious.  John’s scarred psyche had manifested as grotesque physical representations, torturing his fragile mind and bringing his buried past terrors back to life.  Through a series of unbidden flashbacks to the abuses and defining moments of John’s past, and through his interactions with these manifestations representing his weaknesses and fears, the reader glimpses what set him on the path to being such a prolific killer.

The book is written with an emotional honesty that lays bare the killer’s soul for all readers to see, while also delivering a good scare.

Book Details

File Size: 451 KB
Print Length: 242 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00E8C2EFA
Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
X-Ray: Not Enabled 
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

About the Author

Jason Helford is a first time author, having recently published his debut novel, From a Killer’s Mind, in July of 2013.  He’s a devoted husband and father, an avid comic book collector and an enthusiastic craft beer drinker.  Prizing originality and creativity more than anything else, his favorite authors are Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Palahniuk, Ray Bradbury, Terry Brooks, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Robert Asprin and Albert Camus.  Please don’t be offended if you are an author and your name wasn’t mentioned, he probably likes you, too.  He lives in Maryland with his wife, Bella, his daughter, Maddie, and his goofy dog, Sunset.

A Review of DemonWars: First Heroes by R. A. Salvatore

Demonwars_FCDemonWars: First Heroes: The Highwayman and The Ancient (Saga of the First King)
by R. A. Salvatore

DemonWars: First Heroes was a pleasant surprise. I had heard a lot of positive buzz about Mr. Salvatore, but hadn’t read much by him. When I opened this large volume, I knew that I would be spending quite a few days in this world, so I hoped that it would be worth it. Well, just let me tell you, I was completely pulled into the story and characters in the first book, The Highwayman. After I was finished, I had to put it aside for a week or so. (I had to read a couple other books on my list). Then when I came back to read The Ancient, I was surprised by how Mr. Salvatore expanded his world. He had concentrated most of the action in The Highwayman around Bransen Garibond (He is the Highwayman). In The Ancient, he brought in other locations and Peoples. The first book was quite straight forward. The plot was lineal, you could tell where you were at, and knew that it would finish up in this one book, not be one of those dreaded serial novels. With the second book, I thought, “Oh no. This book has way too many things going on. It will never come to a satisfying ending in just this one book. It’s way too big.” But I was wrong. Mr. Salvatore is a master. He brought it all together. What a great finale! I will have to put the next book in this series, The Dame, on my “Books to Read” list.

This volume was a great introduction to the writing of R. A. Salvatore. The two books allow you to really get to know what a great storyteller he is. This is a fantasy, and it does have heroes and villains, and swords and magic, but it doesn’t feel like a typical Sword & Sorcery book. The humans have flaws and aren’t all good or all bad. They have concerns and problems. They aren’t the superheroes that only fight for good, nor the super-villains that want to destroy everything. And you can see that there is something else going on, a world view of the competing religious philosophies, you know that sometime in the future, they will come together, in some way, and this makes you want to read more in this series. Mr. Salvatore really draws you in to this world.

I really enjoyed this multi-book volume. I give DemonWars: First Heroes 4 1/2 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up. This is a great introduction to the fabulous storytelling of R. A. Salvatore. His writing really does live up to all the buzz. If you have any interest in fantasy, and haven’t read these books, I strongly recommend that you pick up this volume. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this paperback book for free from TOR Books.

Book Description
Release date: February 18, 2014

Collected together for the first time, Demonwars: First Heroes is the exciting start to New York Times–bestselling author R. A. Salvatore’s Saga of the First Kings series!
In The Highwayman, Salvatore takes his readers back to his signature world of Corona many years before the DemonWars, introducing a fascinating new hero. The roads are unsafe to travel; goblins and bloodthirsty Powries search out human prey. Two religions struggle fiercely for control. Only the Highwayman travels freely, his sword casting aside both Powries and soldiers. The people need a savior, but is the Highwayman on a mission of mercy…or vengeance?
In The Ancient, Bransen Garibond is tricked into journeying across the Gulf of Corona to the wild lands of Vanguard, where he is pressed into service in a desperate war. If Branson fails, all who live on the lake will perish, and all of northern Honce will fall under the shadow of the merciless and vengeful Samhaists.

Product Details

Series: Saga of the First King
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: TOR Books (February 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765376164
ISBN-13: 978-0765376169
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

About the Author

R. A. Salvatore is one of fantasy’s most popular authors, with his books frequently appearing on the New York Times bestseller list and more than 10 million copies of his books sold. He lives in Massachusetts.

The book description is from Amazon.  DemonWars: First Heroes: The Highwayman and The Ancient

Welcome to my first book giveaway! DemonWars: First Heroes by R. A. Salvatore

Demonwars_FC
DemonWars: First Heroes by R. A. Salvatore

DemonWars: First Heroes by R. A. Salvatore

Tor Books is releasing a new special edition of the first two titles in R. A. Salvatore’s Saga of the First King series: DemonWars: First Heroes (A Tor Paperback; $11.99; On-sale: April 2, 2014). Well known for his popular Forgotten Realms character Drizzt the Drow Elf, Salvatore has created his own realm in the DemonWars Saga, expanded by the Saga of the First Kings.

In The Highwayman, Salvatore takes his readers back to his signature world of Corona many years before the DemonWars, introducing a fascinating new hero. The roads are unsafe to travel; goblins and bloodthirsty Powries search out human prey. Two religions struggle fiercely for control. Only the Highwayman travels freely, his sword casting aside both Powries and soldiers. The people need a savior, but is the Highwayman on a mission of mercy…or vengeance?

In The Ancient, Bransen Garibond is tricked into journeying across the Gulf of Corona to the wild lands of Vanguard, where he is pressed into service in a desperate war. If Branson fails, all who live on the lake will perish, and all of northern Honce will fall under the shadow of the merciless and vengeful Samhaists.

Publishers Weekly calls The Highwayman a “swift-moving tale of sword and sorcery” and declares, “Fans of Salvatore’s unadorned approach and broad caricatures of archetypal figures should be pleased with this carnival of treachery and medieval feudalism.” A can’t miss collection for Salvatore fans, this special omnibus reprint is also the perfect introduction to the entertaining realms of the DemonWars.

Contest Details

There will be two winners of DemonWars: First Heroes. They will be randomly selected on March 18, 2014.
This contest starts today March 3, 2014, and will close at Midnight EDT, March 17, 2014. I will email the winners, and post the winners here on March 18th.

If you would like to be one of the lucky winners, just follow these easy steps.
1.     Send an email to contests at mackela dot com.
2.    Use DemonWars as the subject.
3.    Include your mailing address. (So TOR books can send you a copy of DemonWars)

This contest is only open for readers in North America.

Please only one entry per person. I will be putting your email addresses in a box and my wife will be drawing out the winners, so I will know if you have multiple entries.
Once the contest is over, I will be deleting all the emails that you send (including the mailing addresses).

A special thanks to Desirae May Friesen (Publicity Assistant | Tor & Forge Books) for providing the books for this giveaway!

Here is the link to  DemonWars: First Heroes: The Highwayman and The Ancient (Saga of the First King) on Amazon, if you want more information about the book.

Two copies of DemonWars: First Heroes to giveaway. Starts next Monday

My CopyI’m so excited to be able to give 2 of my readers a copy of this book, DemonWars: First Heroes by R. A. Salvatore. I got my copy yesterday! It was sitting on the porch when I went out. I hope that you can get one too.

It contains 2 books, The Highwayman and The Ancient. It’s a BIG book, 607 pages. I’m excited to start reading it.

R. A. Salvatore Book Giveaway in March

Demonwars_FC

I will be hosting a giveaway in March, Starting March 3rd.

R. A. Salvatore’s Saga of the First King series: DEMONWARS: FIRST HEROES (A Tor Paperback; $11.99; On-sale: April 2, 2014). Well known for his popular Forgotten Realms character Drizzt the Drow Elf, Salvatore has created his own realm in the DemonWars Saga, expanded by the Saga of the First Kings.

In The Highwayman, Salvatore takes his readers back to his signature world of Corona many years before the DemonWars, introducing a fascinating new hero. The roads are unsafe to travel; goblins and bloodthirsty Powries search out human prey. Two religions struggle fiercely for control. Only the Highwayman travels freely, his sword casting aside both Powries and soldiers. The people need a savior, but is the Highwayman on a mission of mercy…or vengeance?

In The Ancient, Bransen Garibond is tricked into journeying across the Gulf of Corona to the wild lands of Vanguard, where he is pressed into service in a desperate war. If Branson fails, all who live on the lake will perish, and all of northern Honce will fall under the shadow of the merciless and vengeful Samhaists.

Publishers Weeklycalls The Highwayman a “swift-moving tale of sword and sorcery” and declares, “Fans of Salvatore’s unadorned approach and broad caricatures of archetypal figures should be pleased with this carnival of treachery and medieval feudalism.” A can’t miss collection for Salvatore fans, this special omnibus reprint is also the perfect introduction to the entertaining realms of the DemonWars.