Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance by Shiulie Ghosh – Review

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

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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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where the Darkness Hides by Duncan Thompson – Review

A sequel and continuation into the shadows…

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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

 

 

 

 

Nocturnal Blood by Villimey Mist – review

A modern vampire story that takes the reader on a journey of twists and turns…

Nocturnal bloodIt’s incredibly brave for an author to put together a book where the lead character suffers from anxiety and OCD; something which makes Nocturnal Blood a unique modern, and rewarding reading experience.

Leia Walker narrates the story using a style of writing that very much places the reader in her head. She overthinks, worries and generally struggles with her thoughts for a majority of the time. To begin with I found this slowed things down but the more it unfolds the more I found myself supporting what is a phenomenally brave character. Her development throughout mirrors and runs parallel with the story as a whole which is essentially a road trip of discovery into the world of vampirsim across the US and Canada. So you could say Leia’s individual path is a journey inside a journey.

She is joined by Sophie, whom in early stages reveals herself to be a vampire. You could say they are polar opposites to begin with and their chemistry grows along the way. Together they embark on a trip that is part escape and part chase.

Seeing as this is a vampire story there are the usual tropes that Sophie explains in part and some are discovered as events unfold. There is also a whole host of new original ideas and terminology much of which could be explored in potential sequels which I would be very interested in reading.

Overall I found Nocturnal Blood to be a highly readable tale of bravery, friendship, character development and vampires; a genre in modern times that doesn’t get nearly enough credit especially when stories like this exist. Even though I downloaded the E-version of this book I thought I would also mention the cover art is fantastic!

5 Stars

The Alien Diaries by Glenn J. Devlin – Review

A fantastic original tale that merges science fiction and history…

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The unique premise unfolds gradually in a way that compliments the story using a style of clear and descriptive writing. The Alien Diaries opens in a way that keeps the reader intrigued and guessing what this book is really about.

The two main plot lines; one set in modern day and the other delivered via diary entries from the 1700’s give the book a time travel feel in which I found myself completely immersed throughout. The diary entries are brought to life in the first person perspective as if the characters from the other plot are reading them with the reader and their side of the story is written in the third person. I am highlighting this specifically because I found this to be very well done and it isn’t easy to make different perspectives fit but this worked perfectly for the book’s entirety especially the mysterious elements of the story which eventually gives the reader answers.

Colin and Maddie serve as great main characters whom both have depth and a wonderful amount of chemistry together as the story unfolds even if what they have been through historically was unfortunate. Because of this I found myself rooting for both of them as well as sometimes even laughing at their antics. The pair really do go through a journey in this book.

Overall The Alien Diaries is an immersive and gripping original tale that nods to some important history as well as taking the reader on a journey through time. I even found there to be some great references to writing and reading in general all of which tells me the author has spent a great amount of time and effort constructing a story that everyone will find enjoyable.

5 Stars 

 

Endsong by Roslyn Renwick – a review

Immersive imaginative escapism with a powerful voice and premise…

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I found this book to be like nothing like anything I have read before. The style of writing immediately immerses you into the mind of main character Rhea Forrester; a complex and curious lady who carries this story with a wonderful amount of depth. From what would appear on the surface becomes so much more and not only does that apply for the whole story but for Rhea also.

To put it simply this book is different and original for the genre it falls under, that is an incredible achievement. I felt as if this was a journey which slowly moved down the rabbit hole somewhere between fantasy and science fiction with a whole host of sub genres and tones. I say slowly because the pacing of the story moves steadily and in a way that asks questions which are answered later on and during, gripping readers all the way through and deeply most of the time. The story evolves as it unfolds with a high level of tension nearer to the latter stages which was in fact always there but subtle and well thought out.

There were many instances I found myself asking ‘what is this about?’ which is a positive because this truly is a tale of the unexpected and it is also something readers will have to find out on their own because Endsong is worth the read. Books should be an escape and this is the pinnacle of that much like Rhea Forrester of Poplar close and her journey. All of the characters purposefully contributed towards what is a fascinating reflection of humanity.

If you are looking for a deep immersive and original tale then this is a book I highly recommend.

5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons why you should read Cemetery House

The story of survival is back with Cemetery House and this is 5 reasons why you should read it! 

1. The characters….

First and foremost Cemetery House is character driven and just like their previous outing Open Evening; those who survived are back to continue their fight. In fact the whole premise of CH simply looks to answer the simple question of what if they got another opportunity to carry on their journey.

This eventually evolved into specifics; this time around ‘Twister’ becomes a focal point and where he comes from is central to the plot. This doesn’t take anything away from Luke Hartford, Josie Kendall, Jonny Buster and Josh Kennedy whom Twister leans on as he recuperates from the Open Evening.

Of course no sequel is really a sequel without the introduction new characters in which there are plenty.

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2. There are answers… 

I know for a fact Open Evening asked a lot of questions, some of them I asked deliberately and others just happened. Trust me when I say CH will answer a bunch of stuff you wanted to know about.

What are those monsters that come out of the shadows? How do they control people? Just who is Twister really? Who is he working with? Where else does this happen? What does this have to do with the Darke Blood story? Why all the fire?

All of the above will be answered in one way or another! 

3. It’s also a prequel

This isn’t just a sequel for the sake of making another one. There is a real continuation of the story here. Like the question of who Twister is, CH answers just that by serving as a prequel in the opening quarter of the book. We see a high school age Twister as he discovers his home town isn’t what it appears to be. We also see where he gets most of his traits from, something which played a central part in Open Evening. And importantly we see how he becomes Twister!

4. There are links to Darke Blood

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Some of you know that my eventual plan is to cross the world of Darke Blood with the one I have created in Open Evening and Cemetery House. This becomes apparent throughout the story of CH, there is even a special surprise twist at the very end.

There are also subtle and near the end a very obvious link to some witchcraft stuff which twists this story into a make or break situation where everything nods and aligns with Darke Blood. 

5. The whole book is a reward to my readership…

Open Evening is where it all began for me, and my readers came out in droves to help promote my efforts. For that I have written this book in mind to reward those good people, trust me when I say this one is for you all! Sequel’s have a very specific target market, those who read the first one which makes this marketing a big challenge. Therefore I need all of those who came out first time to return and help bring this book to the masses! 

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6. Bonus: It’s not just a Halloween book; and it’s out next week!

I’ve gone for the whole Halloween release thing because let’s face it, the turning of the season brings a somewhat atmospheric feel in the air. Leaves fall and the air is colder, there is something about it I just like, but CH is an all year around read and yes it is officially available next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indie Book Reviews available here!

As a wordsmith and independently published author I am a supporter of others like me. We are all in this sometimes turbulent but mostly lonely vessel of discovery together. And so I can officially announce that I have began a new venture of indie book reviews…

 

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You can see via the menu a brand new section arrived very recently, and if you are an author in need of a review then of course reach out.

My hope is to first and foremost read more, I’m an author, we only get better by immersing ourselves in the craft of writing and reading. I’ve met and connected with some wonderful story tellers via social networking and plan to meet more who will hopefully whisk me away to the worlds they have created. Reading is something I have found myself doing a lot of recently so why not make it your book I am reading.

Check out the indie book reviews section and submission guidelines for more details.

My second book cover… Revealed

OKAY EVERYONE HERE IT IS….

THE COVER OF DARKE BLOOD IN ALL IT’S GLORY…

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ARE YOU READY??

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Andrew and Rebecca from Design for Writers have put in some fantastic work with this cover and I think we can all agree it looks awesome! 

The final steps are approaching for the publication of my second book but there is still so much to do. As we get closer to publication day on the 25th I will be organizing a Facebook event to gather everyone for an online launch. Your likes, shares and comments are what will make this book a success and I have to thank you all for the continued following and support.

Any big news from now on will first break via my email list, so sign up today via email (box up in the top right corner) and you will be the first to get stuff (this includes free books/material). 

Rock and roll man…

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My Big Book Giveaway Competition

The world is just days away from the official launch of my first book OPEN EVENING! 

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It’s time you embraced the unexpected and joined me on this incredible journey to publication in just under a weeks time!

So in my attempts to get as many eyes on the product as possible I am running a book give away competition.

I, Lee Hall have two freshly printed paperback copies to give away. They will be signed and addressed to the two lucky winners who will be notified on the 28th of September 2016 (the day before the book is officially released).

How to enter

All you have to do is the following….

  1. Like my Facebook page
  2. Click attending on my official ‘Open Evening launch event’ on Facebook 
  3. Share the Open Evening launch event

Optionally and I will take this into account, you could even use the hashtag #openevening whilst sharing the event. Also feel free to share the event on other social media sites. The more you do the more chance I will choose you (don’t work too hard though)!

Good luck and I very much look forward to signing the books!