Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance by Shiulie Ghosh – Review

“I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a Warrior now…”

kali

In the already established world of demons and Warriors we are reintroduced to the still very feisty and likeable ‘Kaz’ as the next chapter of her journey continues. The story picks up pretty much where the previous finished only now readers are taken further down the rabbit hole of magic, mythical creatures and gods in what is an epic sequel.

Much of what is suggested previously and skimmed the surface comes to light in ‘Unholy Alliance’ with ‘Kaz’s’ destiny taking center stage as she becomes a fully fledged Warrior alongside others who are apprenticed by the guild. This provides an opportunity to introduce new characters such as ‘Jack’ who plays a semi love interest and sometimes shoulder to cry on for our hero. Of course characters from the first story are back with many that still serve a purpose to the now evolving story (Em, Darius and Di come to mind).

Many of the themes seen in the previous adventure are back such as coming of age, prophecy and deception all of which cleverly ties in with Hindu and Indian heritage; a concept that carries much originality and scope for near enough unlimited intrigue. Also back is the voice that ‘Kaz’ hears in her head now known as ‘the other’ which is a force that comes to fruition in the latter stages. She must look to save her mother who is comatose after the end of the last story and this runs as one of the main arcs that spreads across the book’s entirety.

Destiny and prophecy is something hero ‘Kaz’ must face and nearer the end she journey’s alone on what seems like a pilgrimage of sorts in order to solve the worsening demon problems her guild faces and of course saving the world!

Overall ‘Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance’ is a great read and just as good as the first story. I found myself taking my time with this read as I enjoyed it so much while being sure to take in every detail. Not once did I think this book suffered from middle story syndrome (as it is part of a planned trilogy) and it may actually be stronger than the first in keeping the reader turning those pages. With many possibilities of where the story could go at the end, I look forward the next one!

5 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Where the Darkness Hides by Duncan Thompson – Review

A sequel and continuation into the shadows…

dark hides

I liked the fact this story didn’t try to copy or do exactly what the first one did. It goes to different places while also exploring concepts from the original in more detail. There are many sequels that get made just because the first was good or successful but they rarely deliver. Was ‘Where the Darkness Hides’ just as terrifying as ‘Within the Dark Places’? Probably not, and it doesn’t need to be because they are two completely different stories, and the differences is what makes this one just as good.

This time around the story begins with a slower build and instead of being a more on the scary side its more of a tension filled experience. We sort of know what’s coming, but it comes from the unexpected. The police begin to investigate the events of the previous story and while we know what has happened, they don’t and it becomes that old fashioned full proof horror scenario of readers saying out loud ‘don’t go in there!’ or in this case don’t got into the Druid Woods.

It’s ‘Aliens’ with shades of ‘Jeepers Creepers’, and I mean that as a compliment because this sequel see’s the story from the first one evolved. We see concepts that are explored further and elements that stretch to other genres such as the occult and psychological horror. There is a bigger cast of characters and overall the story delves further into the concepts of the original making it essential reading if you enjoyed the first one. Again the whole experience feels cinematic it never stays in the same place for long keeping readers constantly on edge.

4 Stars

 

 

 

 

Daughter of Kali: Awakening by Shiulie Ghosh – review

Original page turning action with a powerful voice that speaks of prophecy, coming of age and warriors…

kali.PNG

On the surface ‘Daughter of Kali’ would appear to be just another teen/young adult story but in reality it is so much more and carries a level of sophistication that gives it a much wider appeal.

We are introduced to ‘Kaz’ who is a feisty and likeable main character, she carries the story as a girl who stands out from the very beginning. She’s the only Indian girl in an English school and is toughened by the fact. The opening chapters serve as an introduction to what is an ordinary seeming world of school for ‘Kaz’ and her best friend/computer whizz ‘Em’ only for them to realize there is a whole other world below the surface. That world being one of demons and a warriors guild who fight said demons. ‘Kaz’ discovers that her own mother is in fact a warrior and so her journey of discovery begins, which involves finding out about her past, eventually becoming a realization of power story. 

This warriors guild has been historically fighting demons for generations and is cleverly linked to the Hindu faith; a concept I found intriguing and original. There’s plenty of action and suspense throughout along with many other original concepts and characters that delve into the world of magic and mythology.

Overall I enjoyed reading what is a well written and clever tale that I found to be un-put-down-able in the latter chapters.

5 Stars – Looking forward to the sequel

Within the Dark Places by Duncan Thompson – review

There’s something lurking in the shadows of Druid Wood and it’s terrifying…

within dark places.PNG

As an avid fan of horror, I don’t scare easily but ‘Within the Dark Places’ is the closest to terrified I’ve been for quite some time whilst reading a book.

This story follows a small group who decide to spend their weekend in a woods with chilling results. From the very beginning there’s a stack of mystery and intrigue as to what exactly is lurking in the shadows which starts to play on the readers imagination more than anything; something which is text book horror and also very effective in a book like this.

It reads like a modern horror flick by way of a well written page turning style giving the reader no rest-bite between the sometimes graphic but always creepy fate in which the characters face. And believe me it does get graphic in a few places. This one isn’t for the faint of heart but I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good scare.

Its paranormal and ‘creature feature’ combined with some of the usual tropes seen in horror but some cliches will always work and they do so very well here. Although this novella is on the short side, the whole story is delivered effectively and makes for some great horror reading.

4 Stars – I have already added the sequel to my TBR list! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Great Reasons why you should read indie books!

March has been another great month for this blog, the views and numbers are the best ever.  My secret to that success is simple, Indie Book Reviews! And epic loyal followers like yourself.

Here’s the rundown of what I read and reviewed in the past month!

peter

Drake Peters; One Minute to Midnight by Kingsley Benjamin is a young adult sci fi story set in the near future and see’s the title character delve into the world of a secret academy that leads to a wider universe of aliens and powers of the mind.

I found this book to be very addictive and readable with the pages literally turning themselves. The flow breaks the usual mold of YA stories as quoted in my review  “Its very common for YA stories to spend too much time within the head and mind of a main character; ironically that doesn’t happen in this book and that is one of the many concepts that makes the story of Drake Peters accessible and full of pace which has the reader turning pages.”  

There were several nods to many stories I enjoy such as ‘Men in Black’, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘X men’ making this book a must read!

Next up I read a book which sits in what might be my favorite genre of horror; exploration of an abandoned asylums…

51

‘Building 51’ by Jenifer L. Place is a horror/historical fiction story with plenty of background information about an asylum located in the US (yes this place actually exists!). A group of friends decide to make an excursion to the place and come to realize something else is lurking in the dilapidated grounds and buildings.

‘Fusing elements of real history and the paranormal make this story and the characters in it feel like something is lurking and watching them. Something is and this gradually becomes apparent manifesting itself in a range of unique and creepy ways.’

We’ve all seen the films about abandoned hospitals but ‘Building 51’ is by far the most effective for the genre.

The third indie title I picked up in March was a unique young adult fantasy story with multiple lead characters. 

blue rabbit

Looking back at the time I spent reading ‘Blue Rabbit’ by Jimena Novaro, I must say I really really enjoyed this book. For anyone who is looking to write a multi character story would learn a lot from it.

I said in my review ‘the strength of this story comes from the multitude of great characters that help tell it’ but I would also add the imagination of such a story is a huge thing that made this book so great. There were many original concepts that culminate to a great final act along with characters that develop throughout the length of the story.

A lot of fantasy can be overwhelming but ‘Blue Rabbit’ serves as a great representation for the genre.

The 4th and final title I read this month was ‘Seeker: A story in the ChaosNova universe’ by David Noe and Laura Loolaid.

seeker

I’ve never read a co-authored story and don’t let that put you off because this book is a credit to the sci-fi space travel genre.

The story is a journey for ‘Jewel’ the main character and bounty hunter who takes on a contract of great interest. What follows is a tale of deception, the unexpected and overall drama for our hero as she looks for the truth.

Shorter books don’t get enough credit, something which I have said before and its true, this book is well worth the investment. Like I said in my recent review, for anyone who liked TV cult classic ‘Firefly’ will want to take a look at this one.

And so that wraps up another month of indie reads.

All of my reviews feature on this blog and also get posted on Goodreads and Amazon. 

So the question is folks, are you an indie author? Are you looking for a review? Reach out and let’s get this ball rolling, I am always looking to add more titles to my TBR list. 

Remember above all, support indie authors! Leave a review and help them tell the world their work exists!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeker: A story in ChaosNova universe by David Noe and Laura Loolaid – Review

Page turning sci-fi with plenty of drama, deception and the unexpected…

seeker.PNG

‘Seeker’ is a story and journey of discovery set in a wide futuristic universe of space travel.

‘Jewel’ the M.C is a bounty hunter or ‘Seeker’ and her latest ‘contract’ sends her on a journey that becomes a little close to home. What follows is a story full of intrigue, tension and twists that takes the reader on an eventful ride for ‘Jewel’ who makes for a strong and independent protagonist looking for answers; something which readers will immediately align with.

The ChaosNova universe is delivered and described in a readable and enjoyable style making this story accessible and appealing for all readers; something which is hard to grasp in the world of science fiction. The co-authorship of this book works tremendously well in representing the genre and could even be comparable to cult TV show ‘Firefly’ in its approach. Shorter books don’t get anywhere near enough credit and this one deserves high praise for its detail and world building.

I particularly enjoyed the way combat was masterfully described in a particular scene; something I would very much like to see more of in this universe along with ‘Jewel’.

Overall ‘Seeker’ is a story that represents the main character’s journey in learning about herself and her history along with a valuable moral about family. I am looking forward to reading more from the ChaosNova universe; a concept where the creators have put in a lot of work and it shows.

4 Stars   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Rabbit by Jimena Novaro – Review

A unique young adult fantasy story with multiple characters…

blue rabbit

Blue Rabbit is an intriguing tale that follows a group of school friends who discover a gateway that leads to another world. As the story opens we learn that they have been visiting this place hidden in the Knoxville trees that seems like a forest but is a world totally different to their own full of creatures and immersive imagination by the author. A school kid called Mike follows this group one night and is seemingly captured by the creatures that reside in this other world and becomes a missing person. It’s up to the group of friends to find out where Mike was taken and look for a way of bringing him back, that is without knowing much about this other world.

The strength of this story comes from the multitude of great characters that help tell it. Five friends; Erika, Haley, Nathan, Sandra and Dorian all seem to take it in turn at the beginning stages to tell the story although Erika eventually breaks away from the group and becomes the lead somewhat with her assured confidence and even sarcastic style; something I enjoyed, even if she did come across as a being full of herself. And to begin with I wasn’t sure about any of the group, but over the course of the story they earned my affection, Sandra and Nathan’s chemistry over the course of the story added to the many dimensions of believable and relatable characters this story has. These five friends and their journey together and as individuals makes for some rewarding reading much like the book as a whole which is highly readable and immersive.

There are several original concepts that carry the story to a level that becomes quite epic in the latter stages with some action and real tension leading towards saving the day and world. Other characters such as ‘Riven’ and ‘Chloe’ really galvanized this story as a character led adventure with twists, turns and plenty of drama.

“I’m going to save the world. Who’s with me?”

4 Stars 

Building 51 By Jennifer L. Place – Review

Urban exploration horror filled with tension and some truth…

51

Building 51 follows the events of seven friends as they embark on an exploration excursion. Their destination the Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane; a real place with a real history that can be described as harrowing to say the least.

Exploration of abandoned places is a specialist niche in the genre of horror and one which I very much enjoy. Films such as ‘Grave encounters’ and ‘House on Haunted Hill’ come to mind but in terms of books, Building 51 is the benchmark and makes for a roller coaster tension filled read.

Fusing elements of real history and the paranormal make this story and the characters in it feel like something is lurking and watching them. Something is and this gradually becomes apparent manifesting itself in a range of unique and creepy ways.

The overall flow of the book is cinematic and even nods to the horror movie rules, some of which the characters unfortunately fall into. Many horror stories tend to run out of ideas near the end but not in Building 51 where the strong premise stands all the way to the end.

5 Stars – a great read that I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of horror and the urban exploration genre! 

Drake Peters: One Minute to Midnight by Kingsley Benjamin – Review

Page turning sci-fi with an original concept and premise…

peterThis is a young adult novel with a difference and which breaks the mold and moves away from the usual tropes seen the genre. Its very common for YA stories to spend too much time within the head and mind of a main character; ironically that doesn’t happen in this book and that is one of the many concepts that makes the story of Drake Peters accessible and full of pace which has the reader turning pages.

We are introduced to Drake Peters who lives his life in the mundane and sometimes socially treacherous world of ordinary school life, that is until he realizes the power he has within his own mind. Soon enough he is whisked away to an academy that is run and influenced by aliens for those who are gifted in the mind.

This mind power premise is limitless and is explored throughout the story as Drake and the characters around him (fellow students) learn to hone their skills of the mind and try to figure out this world they live in. These are characters who range in diversity and ability all of which were believable and carried genuine motive.

Set in the not too distant future of corporations with an east verses west political climate I particularly enjoyed the science fiction elements and nods to various pop culture references. There are so many different influences the story is shaped by, some which are obvious whereas others were just skimming the edge. If you are a fan of the x men, the Hunger Games, Men in Black and even Fallout you will definitely enjoy this sophisticated take on YA sci-fi.

5 stars

 

4 More reasons why you should read indie books!

Reading indie books is becoming a hobby of mine. I have my reasons which are many. Firstly I know what its like to feel like nobody is reading my stuff let alone leaving a review. I understand the work and financial commitments to getting a book out there, and overall reading enriches the mind.

If you are published you’ve got to give back to the community and help the brethren of wordsmiths. No writer can expand by being an island, plus there are some amazing indie books out there that are as good as any trad’ published ones…

Like me, many authors can only talk about their stuff so many times until the inevitable broken record begins to play, so how about I talk about them instead!

Here’s the rundown of the 4 indie titles I read in February….

the pass

Over The Pass, and Other Stories by Susan Mary Malone was the first book I picked up in Feb and this immersive collection of shorts whisks the reader away to the sights of american country.

All of the stories are linked by a very human style of telling and description of feelings with a setting that moves in and out of focus.

I managed to get through the entire collection within a few days, and as my review said this is literary art of the highest caliber and a unique collection of stories…

 

Next up I read ‘Odd Spirits’ by S.T. Gibson

odd spirits

Like the title suggests this a story that delves into the spiritual and occult world but it’s done in a more lighthearted kind of way that makes this unique to the genre.

It’s a novella, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact its a fantastic well paced story.

Quoting from my review ‘there are elements of several genres blended together in this book such as romance, paranormal and spiritual they are all combined in a light way that makes for some great and very addictive reading which would suit all readers.’

The story centers around a married couple who are both active in the world of witchcraft and spirits, their house is being ‘haunted’ by a presence which they must look within to exorcise.

Seeing as I have written a vampire book, I should also read vampire books, so Nocturnal Blood by Villimey Mist was next…

Nocturnal blood

This was quite a long read, but as I got further and further into the story I found myself supporting the main character who suffers from OCD and anxiety.

This is a brave and difficult thing to execute well and a real strong point of the book. We’ve all heard vampire stories and some think they have been done, but Nocturnal Blood proves there are more to offer from the world of blood suckers!

This book is journey within a journey and for anyone who likes the young adult genre, you should check it out!

Also the cover art is awesome, Design for Writers did a top job, they are also behind the covers of my stuff!

And so with only a few days left of Feb I consulted my TBR list and found a shorter book about fairies. 

silver pMy review for Silver Princess By Lea Carter literally dropped yesterday but I will say this is a charming story like nothing I have read before, mainly because I’ve never read a story about fairies but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a great well paced story that twists and turns.  This book truly proves that good things come in small packages…

This was a great way to cap off another month of indie reads and to quote my review this was ‘part love story and part coming of age, the book focuses on Rebecca; a fairy princess who is rescued by a mysterious man-fairy named ‘Scamp’. Their romance is subtle and gradually reveals itself much like the story as a whole making it an enjoyable read suitable for all ages, something which is rarely well executed in literature these days. Its a sort of princess and the pauper story until more is revealed in the latter stages.’

 

And so that’s it for another month of reading Indie books! How many reviews have you left recently? (I’m not sure if that was rhetoric or even slightly sarcastic, answers in the comments folks…)