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The Alchemist’s Son by Athena Daniels

The Beyond the Grave series by Athena Daniels returns with Book 2, The Alchemist’s Son.

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

AlchemistTitle: The Alchemist’s Son
Author: Athena Daniels
Series: Beyond the Grave 02
Publish Date: August 16, Sunset Coast Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Source: Provided by publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionA town with a dark secret.
A detective digging for the truth.
A discovery that leads to an unthinkable sacrifice…

For one hundred years, a demon has been watching, waiting, plotting…

White witch Sage Matthews has inherited a gift that makes her both integral to an ancient prophecy and a target for a demon-possessed serial killer. Assigned to catch the killer, Detective Sergeant Ethan Blade falls wildly, and inconveniently, in love with the one woman he doesn’t know how to protect.

Together Sage and Ethan delve into the prophecy, and the more they learn, the more deadly their situation becomes. At midnight on the night of the blood moon, an ancient doorway will open, and a master demon and his horde will pour through and unleash hell on earth. Only Sage can stop their onslaught—but not if the demon kills her first.

With the blood moon looming, Sage discovers she can join forces with “the alchemist’s son” to destroy the demon. But who is the alchemist’s son? And will he be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice required to end this struggle between light and dark forever?

The Alchemist’s Son is the much-anticipated conclusion to Sage and Ethan’s journey of supernatural suspense and romance, which began in The Seer’s Daughter.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I must admit I was a little disappointed in this one. The title promises more of Ethan’s background but we get more of Sage trying to figure out what to do. Readers don’t learn more about Ethan until the story is almost over. Most of this installment is Sage still running around trying to figure out how to defeat the demon.

The setting is even darker in this book as the demon is closer to walking on this plane of existence. but readers get comedic breaks between the doom and gloom when they are introduced to the new characters of Ethan’s team. Ethan and Sage have their romance beautifully wrapped up.

badge3v4I did enjoy this novel but I think it could have taken a different direction that would have made me love it.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out these other Romance reads!

His Darkest Craving by Tiffany Roberts, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Real by Katie Evans

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

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Rising Tide by Lynn Steigleder

In a world where land is scarce, the forces of good and evil will form and battle it out.

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

rising-tide.jpgTitle: Rising Tide
Author: Lynn Steigleder
Series: Eden’s Wake 01
Publish Date: June 17, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionRising Tide depicts a world in which land is at a premium due to the advancing sea, where man’s attempt to adapt has led to a decay of morals into survival of the fittest. In the midst of the ocean, a crew of racketeers rescues a stranded diver, Ben Adams. Is the rescue just a fortunate coincidence for Ben, or has he been led to this rendezvous with fate for a common goal? A mysterious island inhabited by a primitive yet advanced race of people. A devious ship captain’s metamorphosis into the essence of evil and a ship’s container discovered by itself in a billion square miles of ocean all play a role in this tale of rebirth for a world corrupted by the collapse of morality.  


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

This novel has an interesting premise. The world has descended into chaos because the world’s oceans have risen. A ship’s captain descends into evil as his crew meets a primitive people and becomes a force for good.

I liked the idea. It was a new concept to me and showed promise. It was a quick read. The world and backstory are set up quickly, within the first few pages/chapters. But the characters weren’t fleshed out as well to me. I found that I wasn’t as sad as I should be when this character dies or these two characters get married. There were some twists that I didn’t see coming. Overall it was a good start to a series.

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Even though I read it fairly quickly, I found my interest waning. Rising Tide is a promising start but I felt that it needed a bit more work. Because this is the start to a series, I give it three shipping containers, in hopes that things pick up in later installments.

Other recommendations…

Check out these other popular Science Fiction reads! Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The Martain by  Andy Weir, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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

War of the Staffs by Steve Stephenson and K.M. Tedrick

High fantasy mixed with vampires and adventure? What’s not to love?

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

War of staffsTitle: War of the Staffs
Author: Steve Stephenson, K.M. Tedrick
Series: War of the Staffs #1
Publish Date: July 6th 2016, Black Rose Writing
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionThe goddess Adois brings a powerful vampire warlock named Taza through the void to turn Muiria into a planet of evil using her powerful staff. Needing an army, he turns a race of dark elves into vampires, but Prince Tarquin is born to fulfill a prophecy to stop Taza.

The prince cannot do it alone. The Wizard Celedant sends him to the Borderers, an elite group of dwarves to learn how to fight, while the wizard begins his search for the Staff of Adaman, the only thing capable of thwarting Taza and Adois’ Staff.

War of the Staffs is the search for two pieces of the ancient Staff of Adaman to counter Adois’ plans. The darkness is rising and using the black power of the Staff of Adois and his army of dark elves, giants, and orcs, Taza will begin a reign of terror the planet will not soon forget.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

While most of the book was centered on classic fantasy elements such as wizards, elves, heroes, prophecies, and good versus evil, there are a few elements that make it original. I don’t think of vampires as a fantasy element but they play a central role in this novel. So does the alternate planes of existence and other planets. These elements put a unique spin on this novel.

I really enjoyed the young Prince Tarquin’s storyline. I like that he must prove himself in the Dwarven army and gains their respect. Along with Tarquin is the Wizard Celedant who must thwart attack after attack from the Warlock Taza and get Tarquin where he needs to be. Although the vicious attacks can get a little repetitive.

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There were parts in this novel that were easy to read and I could make it through. However, there were parts that were slow and I struggled to get through. I had to set it aside a couple of times and come back to it. For this reason, I give this novel 3 dark elves. I am not sure if I am up for reading the second installment, but if it sounds like something up your alley then go for it!

Other recommendations…

Check out these other great fantasy reads!  The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh, Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

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

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Intrigue, forbidden love, and dark secrets await you in this second installment from bestselling author Cassandra Clare.

lord of shadowsTitleLord of Shadows
AuthorCassandra Clare
SeriesThe Dark Artifices 02
Publish Date: May 23, 2017, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Los Angeles, 2012. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to the eradication of demons and being the best, fastest and deadliest Shadowhunter since Jace Lightwood. Raised in the Los Angeles Institute, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian. As Emma hunts those who caused the death of her parents, the trail they’re following leads back to those they’ve always been taught to trust. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with Julian — her closest friend and, because he is her parabatai, the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

I became a huge fan of Cassandra Clare after reading The Mortal Instruments series. This series is quite engaging as well. The only real issue I had was that it just seemed too long to me. WHAT???? There is no such thing as too long when you are an avid book reader right? In this case you would be wrong. The main plot kept getting interrupted by side stories that caused a lot of things to happen all at once. Some of the side stories were pointless and could have been cut.

One of the things I enjoyed about the first book was that it wasn’t focused on a love triangle. It was more centered around Emma questioning if she really loved Julian or if she loved him because he was her parabatai. I may have been a bit more forgiving if the love triangle in this book was between main characters but it is not. It focuses on Mark, Cristina, and Kieran and at one point, I was began to wonder if Emma/Julian/the Blackthorns were even the main characters in this trilogy anymore because we spent so much time with the love triangle (square if you count Perfect Diego) between Mark/Cristina/Kieran.

While I do think there were way to many POV’s and switching from one to another, I did love the parts about TY, Kit and Livvy. Their parts warmed my heart and made me want more. I will admit that while the ending tore out my heart and stomped on it (you hear me Cassandra? Tore it out and stomped on it!) It was a POW! ending that can’t be ignored.

badge4v5I hope the third installment brings more surprises and wraps up beautifully.  Even though it was way too long and there was an overload of POVs, it still held true to Shadowhunter lore and the original tales. I have to give it four runes.

Other recommendations…

Talon Series by Julie Kagawa, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins.

 

A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

The author of the beloved Iron Druid Chronicles delivers a high fantasy series rich in magic, history, and culture.

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

A plague of giantsTitle: A Plague of Giants
Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: Seven Kennings 01
Publish Date: October 17, 2017, Del Rey
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Provided by publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionFrom the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, a thrilling novel that kicks off a fantasy series with an entirely new mythology–complete with shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, and children who can speak to astonishing beasts.

MOTHER AND WARRIOR
Tallynd is a soldier who has already survived her toughest battle: losing her husband. But now she finds herself on the front lines of an invasion of giants, intent on wiping out the entire kingdom, including Tallynd’s two sons–all that she has left. The stakes have never been higher. If Tallynd fails, her boys may never become men.

SCHOLAR AND SPY
Dervan is an historian who longs for a simple, quiet life. But he’s drawn into intrigue when he’s hired to record the tales of a mysterious bard who may be a spy or even an assassin for a rival kingdom. As the bard shares his fantastical stories, Dervan makes a shocking discovery: He may have a connection to the tales, one that will bring his own secrets to light.

REBEL AND HERO
Abhi’s family have always been hunters, but Abhi wants to choose a different life for himself. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Abhi soon learns that his destiny is far greater than he imagined: a powerful new magic thrust upon him may hold the key to defeating the giants once and for all–if it doesn’t destroy him first. Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine–and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.


Percy Procrastinator says…

I was very nervous about reading this series. The reason is quite simple—authors that I like for one series rarely catch me with their other series. Butcher’s Codex Alera and Cinder Spires didn’t thrill me as much as the Dresden Files, and Armstrong’s Cainsville series didn’t quite live up to the Women of the Otherworld series for me. While there are a few exceptions to this, this seems to be the general rule in my experience.

Kevin Hearne defied my expectations. This was an excellent start to what I hope is a gripping series, as gripping as his Iron Druid Chronicles.

Hearne manages to weave a tale of six peoples in six kingdoms that pulled me into their story. Each one has its own kenning, or magic, they practice. The titular giants make up the only nonhuman group, but the diversity of the humans astounds. Not so much in speech, as the story is recounted by a bard to a group of refugees, but in culture and appearance, each kingdom comes alive. When the bard mentions the Canopy, I knew he spoke about Forn. The best stone workers hail from Rael, while water kennings are from Brynlon. Only Ghurana Nent, or Nentians, stand alone with no kenning.

The title quickly comes into play as the giants of Hathrir, with their fire kenning, come to invade Ghurana Nent while at the same time, the other side of the continent sees Brynlon and Rael invaded by Bone Giants. Both deal with giants but in very different ways.

We learn about all of this from the bard Fintan as he entertains refugees of Byrnlon with what happened during all the “plagues.” Fintan gathered journals from people close to the events and shares with everyone. He then weaves a tale, switching back and forth from character to character. This allows us to learn about each people and their kenning and also how each invasion progresses.

I was hooked after fifty pages. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Would one giant invasion succeed while another failed? Would Abbi take up the spear to honor his family? Will Tallynd keep pushing herself beyond her limits? I wanted to know!

I did get this book as a physical book, and I appreciated that a lot due to the map in the front cover and the cast of characters in the first pages until I got to know them all. While I could have read it on an ebook, I think having those things available did help.

If I have any complaint about this book, it’s where it ended. Not everything was wrapped up, and I expected that, so that was fine. I do think that a few smaller things could have been explained in only four or five more pages, and that would have been more satisfying. That is not going to stop me from giving this a five-star rating! If you are a fan of Hearne, run out and get this now!

[Editor’s note – please don’t run as we would hate for you to fall and get injured.]

Luna_Lovebooks_100

Luna Lovebooks says…

I must admit when I saw the cover, even after reading the synopsis, my mind went straight to Vikings. I am not sure why. But what I got instead was one wild ride and a great start to a series with myths all its own.

The story is told from multiple points of view. All these views contribute to the overall story of how the giants came to the different lands. To be honest there are almost too many points of view. While each is distinct, I still found myself wondering who was who and what magic they could possess.

It took me a while to get intrigued and drawn in. I am not sure if this is because there were so much world building going on or the fact that I struggled to keep everyone straight, even with a little guide at the beginning as to who was who. Each character has his/her own nation, customs, language, and magic or kenning.

badge3v4I think I will have to rate A Plague of Giants at 3.5. The beginning didn’t flow well since there were so many characters but once I got used to the way the story was progressing it smoothed out. I haven’t decided if I want to continue the series yet but I hope my fellow readers will give it a try for themselves.

Other recommendations…

Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series, Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga, Feist and Wurts’s Empire TrilogyThe Glass Spare series by Lauren DeStefano, Swords & Fire series by Melissa Caruso

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

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