Category Archives: 5-Great

Doc Graystone – A Watery Grave by Nicholas Olivo

Murder, mayhem, and nefarious plots – all in a day’s work for gentleman necromancer Doc Graystone.

TitleA Watery Grave
Author: Nicholas Olivo
Series: Doc Graystone Adventures
Publish Date: April 10, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased by both reviewers.

Publisher’s Description:

Boston, 1932. Doc Graystone is contacted to evaluate security at a paranormal prison built by the U.S. Navy. Before he can begin, a hydromancer assassinates a naval officer to obtain information about the prison. Now Graystone has to track her down before she can break out a prisoner Graystone knows all too well…


Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy with no romance, no graphic violence and no cliffhanger. There are five (5) shorts in this series and they are great for a quick evening read or a wait in some waiting room.

Dr. Graystone, or as he is nicknamed within the Boston PD- Doc Gravestone, is an alcoholic and a necromancer.  He’s a powerful necromancer with a guilt hanging with him about his fiancee’s murder.  He works with the police in Boston to solve murder cases.  That’s the premise overview.  This episode has to do with the Illuminati (oooooh) and Atlantean artifacts (ahhhhhh).  I love how this short incorporates both.  It’s fun and enjoyable.

I have only one complaint with this story.  If I have to read “gentleman necromancer” one more time…  It seems like that descriptor was over used – in my opinion.  Now, I’ve gotten the negative out of the way, I want to assure you that my complaint should in no way decide whether or not you should read this series. I enjoyed the introduction of a hydromancer in to my knowledge base of gifted individuals.  She was an incredible creature and if she’d only use her power for good instead of evil.  Doc took a lot of punishment this time around.  Grady didn’t do much investigating – it was all up to the good Doctor.  He was poisoned and electrocuted.  He was almost nearly drowned.  Poor old boy took justice seeking to a whole new level.

I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Kat Mandu says…

In the second installment of Doc Graystone’s adventure, the gentleman necromancer is pitted against a hydromancer (a being that can transform herself into water, not to mention control liquids in general) and an old “friend” who collects interesting artifacts he uses as weapons. Familiar characters from the first story, like Grady and his partner Parker, return; not to mention Joan, Graystone’s late wife.

There’s a lot of action in this, not to mention some magical fight scenes between two powerful beings – Doc being one of those. Plus, it’s got a few historical mentions – Prohibition, the USS Constitution, even hints at the later Nazi war. Oh, plus it delves into some conspiracy theories focused on the lost city of Atlantis and even the mysterious Illuminati.

I’m really drawn into this world of magical intrigue and Necromancy. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite shorts to read. I hope everyone else can enjoy it as much as I do!

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you like this book, try…

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The Whisper King: Reign Eternal by Wil Radcliffe

The Whisper King was the first of the horror genre I’ve ever read.  It opened up a whole new world.

Title:  The Whisper King: Reign Eternal
Author:  Wil Radcliffe
Series:  The Whisper King #3
Publish Date:  May 26, 2017
Genre:  Horror
Source:  Purchased by Reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  When David Kinder agreed to lead the Whisper King’s army into war, he was promised answers to all of his questions. That included “the knowledge that burns.” But this truth may even be too much for the Prince of the Shadow Mountains, for mortal and immortal alike have succumbed to the madness it ignites.

Even as David wrestles with matters of the mind and spirit, a physical threat looms in the form of the Amathair, a homicidal creature from the end of time. With thousands upon thousands of skeletal Dearmad troops at its command, the Amathair threatens to annihilate all of reality.

Only monsters stand against this threat. And only David Kinder, heir to the Whisper King, can lead them to victory… or damn them to ruin.

 

 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

This is horror with suspense and fantasy mixed in.  There is a lot of violence and several graphic death descriptions.  If you don’t like the concept of children turned into other world warriors, turn away now.

I’m going to start this review with a little recap. In this series we see David ‘sort of’ kidnapped by the Whisper King.  I say ‘sort of’ because he was in an orphanage and he hated it.  Then again, he was a child.  He wished for good parents and never got any.  I did not expect to be reading horror when I started.  The kindly author left that part out.  Thanks, Wil.  It was a page turner and I loved it.  Incredibly written and vivid characters with imagery that was out of this world.

Daughter of Shadows, Book 2 leaned more heavily on the horror and The Whisper King: Reign Eternal was no different.  However much I might say I don’t like horror, I LOVED this book.  Again, the author shines with words that weave a fantasy world of monsters and evil that I shudder to think anyone could survive in.  I know I’d be dead. I think the story indicates strength of David’s character and his struggle is just starting.

Book 3, Eternal Reign, shows how strong David has become in his position within the Whisper King’s army and how smart and caring of his friends he is.  He is a protector and he takes his job to protect very seriously. He has typical problems of any leader except these problems are world crumbling – not just his world but the human world too- and war with an unknown enemy. Talk about stress, man.

This is an incredible story.  David has a lot of hard choices in his world.  He has power above all others and he has to figure out how to use it.  He is an anomaly within the ranks of the other recruits.  He exceeds and he’s become the Prince of the Shadow Mountains-the Whisper King’s heir. He doesn’t get to live the life of royalty. He has to lead his soldiers and make all the right decisions or they will be lost and his world will be no more.  Love, loss, friendship and enemies.  It’s got everything and I recommend it highly.

 

Our reviews in this series…

The Whisper King
Daughter of Shadows
If you like this book…

…you might try Inquisitor Series by Lincoln Farish, The Hellequin Chronicles by Steve McHugh or Deacon Chalk by James Tuck.

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Purge City by Brad Magnarella

Watch out if you are a supernatural because the mayor of NYC wants to eradicate you with the help of his secret weapon, Prof Croft.

Title:  Purge City
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series:  Prof Croft #3
Publish Date:  February 13, 2017
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Narrator:  James Patrick Cronin
Cover:  Damonza.com
Source:  Purchased by reviewer in print and audio

Publisher’s Description:

If you can’t stand the heat…

When New York City unveils a program to roast supernaturals, I wonder if I should be sweating.

The bloodthirsty Arnaud thinks so, and he’s insisting that our survival depends on a wizard-vampire alliance. Never mind his history of wanting me dead. Or undead.

Meanwhile, the mayor wants me on his team—an offer that’s only slightly less unnerving given our recent clash. So who’s really behind the purge? City Hall? The werewolves? Or is it the brainchild of the fae, whose newest advisor to the mayor slipped from my bed and life four months ago?

I’m getting the cold feeling someone’s trying to manipulate the program, and me, to set off a larger war, one that could explode through the city.

One thing’s for sure. If I don’t get my head straight and my magic on, it’s going to be a hell of a summer.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy. No sex, plenty of magic, manipulation, and even what could be deemed a double agent or two…maybe more. There are creatures that are introduced that I’ve (veteran of reading Urban Fantasy) had never heard of –so that was fun. Everybody has an agenda. If you remember that, you’ll be ok.

I love Prof Croft. He’s not pretentious. He doesn’t know everything and is very willing to do the leg work to figure it out. His support staff is lacking, though…A LOT! The Order doesn’t help. His mentor is not exactly helpful and Vega? She’s got a stick up her butt and is still mad from last episode. Talk about a grudge holder concerning a grudge that doesn’t need to be held. Let it go already, woman!
Arnaud is back. What a slug. He may/may not cut a swarthy form in battle, but he’s a vampire. I knew that, I really did, but the sparkles got in the way and I nearly let him fool me. Seriously, I was nearly sucked in by his concern for Everson. Don’t. Just don’t.
Caroline is back. Still the wife of a fae, dang it. It’s rough to see Everson wade through whatever he may be feeling for her and while I have no inside information, I have to hope that this is not the last time we will see her. I’m looking for an HEA, though the Urban Fantasy genre doesn’t have requirements to give me one. Poop.

This story is mostly about a cat and mouse game where Everson is the mouse. There are adversaries where ever he looks. The police department. The stupid mayor whose idea to rid NYC of supers to get re-elected. The fae because he’s a threat to Caroline’s marriage. The werewolves because he put Penny into a bullet induced coma. Moronic Snodgrass because…well…because Snodgrass is an idiot. Every-freaking-body has it out for our wizard. Everson is chased across the city, threatened, imperiled and vulnerable. It’s like fate has it out for our dear Prof Croft or something. Or his author. That might be a more reliable theory. 😉

There are some surprises revealed, so hold on to your theories. There are motive reveals regarding a lot of things and while the ending helps put the puzzle together that doesn’t mean this is the end of the adventure or the grand scheme. While I LOVED the ending, I cannot wait for book #4 to be released because maybe just maybe Everson will finally get his closure. This epic tale was packed with action and was not a book I could put down.

One last thing. The narrator rocks. If you like audios, you’ll dig him.

Our reviews in this series…

  • Preq 0: Book of Souls (not reviewed yet)
    Book 1: Demon Moon
    Book 2: Blood Deal
    Book 3: Purge City
    Book 4: Death Mage (not read, reviewed or released yet)

Other recommendations…

If you like this book…
…you might try Boundary Magic by Melissa Olson , Hellequin Chronicles by Steve McHugh or Immortal Vegas by Jenn Stark

 

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Icefire by Chris D’Lacey

The adventure picks up in this second installment of The Last Dragon Chronicles.

Title
: Icefire
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles #2
Publish Date: July 2007
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:

Secrets will be revealed when fire and ice collide…

In the exciting sequel to The Fire Within, David must uncover the truth behind the mysterious clay dragons. David’s quest is to discover the link between the fire of the last known dragon on Earth and the icy regions of the Arctic. It’s a journey that will change his life forever, a journey that will bring him to the very heart of the legend of dragons and the mysterious, ancient secret of the icefire… 

 


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: While The Fire Within was a great introductory book, Icefire is the perfect beginning to the meat of the series. Lucy makes her first dragon – a wishing dragon. David names him and so the dragon becomes his, and after making a bizarre wish, things get a little crazy. This novel is a quick moving story that never quits with the intensity of the story and interesting plot devices never waver. I like that we get a closer look at the dragons and their personalities. We also get introduced to a few new characters – Zanna and Aunty Gweneth – that are both quirky and scary respectively. The element that I loved the most about this novel though is the fact that it has so much to do with the Earth and how all things are connected.

Dislikes: While I understood the path this novel was taking, I can see where it would be confusing to some readers. David suddenly can communicate with dragons, a new love interest is thrust on to the scene, and there is visions/time travel/alternate dimensions that can muddle readers minds.

I may a little biased again in the rating of this novel, but I have to give it 5 snowflakes.

Other recommendations…

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

 

Pieces of My Life by Rachel Dann

A journey she never expected…

Pieces of My Life Rachel DannTitlePieces of My Life
Author:  Rachel Dann
Publish Date:  May 17, 2017
Genre:  Romance
Source:  NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Publisher’s Description:

Kirsty is happy. Really, she is. After five years with her boyfriend, Harry, she’s ready to take things to the next step and turn that spare room into a little nursery. And she thought Harry was too.

Only, it turns out that Harry’s ‘big news’ is actually not that he wants to try for a baby, but that he wants to travel to South America – with Kirsty! She’ll just have to trust that after their trip of a lifetime, Harry will be ready to settle down for good.

Arriving in hot, steamy Ecuador it soon becomes clear that Harry is hiding something. Something that he’s been hiding for years. And as Kirsty’s dreams are at risk of shattering, she begins to pick up the pieces of the life that she’s put off for so long…

Spoilers Ahead.  *BEWARE*


Ruby_Lee_100Ruby Lee says…

A few weeks ago, on a long car ride, I had a good discussion with a friend about the reputation of the romance genre and books that are classified as “Chick Lit.”  Many people feel that these genres have nothing important to say.  I argued that it depends on the author and not the genre to give a book meaning.  Pieces of My Life is the perfect example to support that argument.

Before I read Pieces of my Life only 45 books out of my 696 read books on Goodreads hadbadge5v5 5 star ratings.  After reading this brilliantly designed story, there are 46. Rachel Dann weaves together a story that speaks about social justice issues for women in Ecuador, South America, reconnecting with a distant father, a young woman’s journey to find herself, and intrigue of a great love story.

In most books, I would argue that these are too many themes for one book, but Dann has the magic ability to make them flow together flawlessly.   She creates rich and deep characters that come alive in a reader’s mind.  When the book ended, I immediately began to miss them.

Amazingly, this is Dann’s first book which leads me to wonder where she has been all this time.  If this is her first try, I can’t wait to see what’s next.  We might have to add higher numbers to our rating system.

Other reviews…

If you like this book, try…