Category Archives: Male

Darklands: Requiem by Lyn I. Kelley

Good versus evil is just the beginning for this purgatory-like novel.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title: Darklands: Requiem
Author: Lyn I. Kelley
Series: Darklands, Book 1 
Publish Date: August 26, 2015
Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author & Wordslinger

Publisher’s Description:
Webb Thompson awakes, disoriented and fearful. He sees green grass and a black, boiling sky spread out before him. He finds his little sister nearby, unconscious. When he reaches her side, Sundown is alive. But now they have other problems: where are they, how did they get there, and what is that growling noise? Webb and Sundown have awakened in the Dark Lands-a world between life and death where sacred souls battle malevolent evil for control of the living realm, a battle of which mere mortals know nothing. How did Webb and Sundown come to this place? Are they living? Are they dead? Or are they something else? Webb and Sundown will soon discover mystical abilities within themselves, abilities they will need to practice and perfect because evil is growing. His name is the Dark Man, an ancient evil, but one new to the Dark Lands. His very presence threatens to destroy the fabric of the Dark Lands, the living world and of time itself. The battle lines have been drawn. The war is soon to begin. . .


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: There was something truly unique about this book but at the same time there was something familiar about it. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but I truly enjoyed this book. The characters are diverse and believable. Sundown and Webb must deal with not only the fact they are now in a purgatory like world but also that they are part of some big good versus evil plot.  The world building is fantastic. Many interesting characters/creatures/and features that are unique to this story.

Dislikes: There is very little back story to the characters and it leaves some questions – like why does Webb have so much pent up anger? Granted he has just found out that he has died but the anger seems deeper than that. While the world building is amazing; there is a lot of information that make the majority of the book an information dump while the reader gets acquainted with the surroundings. Some of the elements were predictable and some of the names for the evil creatures comical.

Overall this a good start to a YA series and I give it 4 Maurdians. 

 

Other recommendations…

Recommendations: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, The Uncommitted by Margaret Goss, and Wizard Bound by Christian Boustead.

Beast by Megan Crewe

What do you do when your best friend becomes a monster?

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

TitleBeast 
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: Stand-alone.
Publish Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Another World Press
Source: Provided by the author.

Publisher’s Description:

“You think you have it all figured out, Max, but this isn’t your game anymore.”

Max Weston knows that life is a game: Turn on the charm, say what people want to hear, and whatever you want is yours for the taking. What do a few lies matter if everyone ends up happy? His best friend, Davey, can’t look a cute girl in the eye and barely scrapes by in school, so yeah, Max hassles him sometimes. But he always has the guy’s back—even when a strange beast attacks Davey in the woods.

As Davey heals, something awakens inside him. Something with razor-sharp teeth, vicious reflexes, and no patience for Max’s ploys. Suddenly Davey is challenging Max, getting smarter, stronger, faster—and harder to control. Max plunges into a series of schemes to save his friend, but with each move he makes, Davey lashes back twice as hard. The monster inside him is calling the shots now, and the game it wants to play has deadly consequences for everyone Max loves.

If Max forfeits, he’s giving up on his best friend. But winning might mean losing even more.

Teen Wolf meets Pretty Little Liars in this edge-of-your-seat supernatural thriller.


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: Beast reads like a 90s bubblegum horror movie…AND I LOVE IT! Yes, it can be cheesy in parts and it’s not remotely horrifying, but it works. Now don’t get me wrong there is bloodshed – and it can get graphic, but again it works. I love the development of the main character Max and the realizations he comes to. I also like the fact that readers get the sense that Davey is a werewolf but never specifically comes out and says that he is in fact a werewolf. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

Dislikes: It can be a little cheesy. The plans the kids come up with make you want to pull your hair out because you know it isn’t going to work – but honestly I’m glad they didn’t and that it ended the way it did. While these didn’t bother me, there are some graphic scenes and scenes that involve teenage drug usage.

I give this book 5 howls.

Other recommendations…

Checkout these other must read werewolf tales: The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo, The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon, and The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Storm Bringer by Ken Lange

The adventure continues and the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place.

Title: Rise of the Storm Bringer
Author: Ken Lange
Series: Warden Global #2
Publish Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Reviewer purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionFor most people, a visit from their former in-laws is unpleasant at most. If only I were that lucky.

Mine have unexpectedly dropped by, leaving a couple of bodies in little bits and a message in blood as their way of saying hi.

Which is just great. Now I can add one more group to the growing list of nut-bags who want to tuck me in for a dirt nap. Simply put, if the in-laws don’t get me, a dead woman, the Loki, or any one of a legion of mythological beasties just might.

To top it off, I’ve learned that there’s a cosmic war that’s been raging since the dawn of creation, and somehow, I’ve found myself at the very center of it all. I know it’s gonna be a hell of a day when death might be the least of my problems.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

The only thing that matters is to do the best you can in the moment and realize that no one has all the answers.

This science fiction/urban fantasy/action adventure story takes place in NoLA,  There is death and dismemberment and often blood, gore and goo. The protagonist often gets the crap beaten out of him AND he’s almost (I said ALMOST) as clueless about what is happening to him than us readers.  Viktor is a smart ass and that’s what draws me to a good character.  The story is written like he’s telling the story to you personally. He’s got depth to him that comes from a lot of experience tending to the things that most don’t care to deal with.  Anyway, the story does have twists and turns that end up leading down a dark alley not knowing if a monster will pop out or not.  Usually does, though.  Just warnin’ ya.

There is a lot of name dropping in this book.  Brush up on your Greek and Norse mythology because it will help with the characters and where they fit into the whole scheme of things.  Actually, scratch that. You really don’t have to know the mythology, just know the individuals are important and it’ll be fine.  I happen to like to track down the mythology because I think knowing where they all came from makes the reading more fun.

There are several characters that are mentioned from book 1 as well as a couple from Accession of the Stone Born – another series from the same author.  In my opinion, the mention of other characters made my reading more like a family reunion.  I didn’t actually get to see the characters, but the mentioning made it fun for me.

It’s important, I think, to mention that it would be a good idea to start with the first book in the series, The Wanderer Awakens, because this is a series that would be hard to follow if it wasn’t started from page 1.

If you like a white hat that doesn’t really look at himself that way, with a team of good people that look out for the unknowing humans and supernatural, mythological and ancient people thrown in as well as a science fiction basis, this is a good series to begin.  Normally, I’m not one for science fiction, but I liked it.  It’s a challenging read.  It kept my brain engaged and every page there was a scene that would suck me in as quickly as the one the page before did.

Someone once said that this author makes writing look easy.  I really do believe it.  It’s complicated, but yet simple in the end.  It’s worth the time and energy.  I rate it a 5.

Our reviews in this series…

 

Sleipnir’s Heart by Ken Lange

Take a trip through Romania in search of the thing that will help his friend survive and come face to face his own savior from years ago.

If you’re looking for a copy of this short story you can pick it up here… https://instafreebie.com/free/on8nP?s…

Title: Sleipnir’s Heart
Author: Ken Lange
SeriesWarden Global
Publish Date: March 18, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction/Action Adventure
Source: Free download instafreebie.com

Publisher’s Description: When I crashed on this planet fifteen thousand years ago, I thought that my friend—the living spaceship Sleipnir—was destroyed. But it turns out the mysterious signal I’ve been receiving for the past nine years is his cry for help. It’s led me back to Romania, back to the mountain I almost died on, and—just maybe—back to the legendary being who once saved my life.

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


 

Nervous Nellie says…

This is a mind bending series.  I’m just gonna start with that.  Next, I’m gonna tell you to scope out the author’s web page.  It will clue you in to what started this whole adventure of the Stone Born.  Normally, I really don’t mention much about the web sites, but this one is rather cool.   Anyway, back to the series.  It’s got time travel, a spaceship, supernatural creatures, ancient beings and mythological connections-pretty much something for everyone.  That’s the series, though.  The short story is a short adventure to retrieve something very important and is only a tiny blip in the whole big picture.

This short comes between book 1 and book 2, but please, for goodness sake, DON’T start the short first!  This is not one of those series that you can just hop in the middle and think it’ll be ok.  It’s a twisted tale with a puzzle beneath the surface as well as one wrapped around the outside.  It’s reading time well worth spent, that’s for sure.

Like I said, it takes place right after the ending of The Wanderer Awakens.  It sheds a little more light on the living spaceship that is bonded to Viktor.  The story explains what Viktor is looking to retrieve to hopefully help Sleipnir mend.  It’s a well written quickie that will leave you wanting to quickly move on to The Storm Bringer, which, trust me, is something you’ll want to do.

 

Our reviews in this series…

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Talking to Dragons by Patricia M. Wrede

Daystar is all grown up and off to the Enchanted Forest on his first adventure. Armed only with a sword and good manners, Daystar is kicked out of the house by his mother, Cimorene, and told to figure out what he’s supposed to do. But when it comes to the secrets of the Enchanted Forest, discovering your destiny isn’t always easy.

TitleTalking To Dragons 
AuthorPatricia Wrede 
SeriesEnchanted Forest Chronicles 
Publish Date: September 1, 1993
Publishers: Houghton Milton Harcourt
GenreMG/YA High Fantasy 
Publisher’s Description: Always be polite to dragons! That’s what Daystar’s mother taught him…and it’s a very wise lesson–one that might just help him after his mom hands him a magic sword and kicks him out of the house! Especially because his house sits on the edge of the Enchanted Forest and his mother is Queen Cimorene.

But the tricky part is figuring out what he’s supposed to do with the magic sword. Where is he supposed to go? And why does everyone he meets seem to know who he is?

It’s going to take a particularly hotheaded fire-witch, a very verbose lizard, and a badly behaved baby dragon to help him figure it all out.

And those good manners certainly won’t hurt!


Kat Mandu says…

Although this book was written by the author first, it’s actually the last in the series and takes place quite a few years after the events of the first three books. Daystar, the son of Cimorene, has no idea that it’s his duty to rescue his missing/sleeping father, Mendenbar, and all the while stopping the wizards forever. But first he’s gotta navigate through the Enchanted Forest.

Along the way he meets a very feisty fire-witch named Shiara, a couple elves, Antorell, and the old gang – Morwen, Telemain, Kazul, and of course, his own father. I find it’s interesting that his magic works a little differently than Mendenbar’s, but has similar effects, as it’s very good at getting him out of trouble.

This story has a lot of dialogue and kind of drags in certain spots where everyone is just arguing or plotting, but the plot is a lot more engaging and makes up for it. I’m very fond of the way the author kind of makes this a stand-alone novel, so that readers don’t have to read the first three to understand the story. Though, if you had read the first three, you’d probably know exactly what was going on and wouldn’t have to wait.

When I first read this series back in grade school, I actually read this one first and loved it, so I read the whole series backwards. It gave me a very different read and one I enjoyed. Now that I’ve read it in its chronological order, I realize that I probably missed quite a few details going backwards. 

Regardless, no matter how you read it, this is a great series for kids and adults. If you like some reimagined fairy tales, magic, and adventure, you’d love the Enchanted Forest chronicles. I know I enjoyed rereading it.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you like dragons, magic, and adventure, you might try Susan Fletcher, Tamora Pierce, or Diane Duane.