Category Archives: ARC Review

Review: Romanov (Part 2)

Romanov
By Samaire Provost
Publication date: January 24th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

In an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan, two enemies battle to the death, while outside, a malevolent entity watches and waits and plots, eager for blood. On an island in the heart of Seattle, an immortal princess struggles to lead a normal life just as a flood of terrifying creatures starts to pour in through a portal that should not be there. A young man meets a classmate while walking home from the college library, and embarks on the most dangerous adventure he’s ever known – will he survive? A deranged madman hunts the girl he’s lusted after for a century, in a relentless pursuit for vengeance. A prehistoric, mythical beast jealously guards a primeval land, which is leaking into present-day Seattle. A sweet, forbidden passion blossoms between two lovers who steal moments whenever they can, while unbeknownst to them, they’re hunted by a deadly creature.

A royal family threatened at its weakest – yet lethal in its own right – is stalked by an ancient evil that will not rest until they are utterly destroyed: a nightmare incarnate that has waited millions of years for revenge threatens the very existence of the young lovers and their family.

Will they prevail?

Review:

See the first part of my review here.

Let me say this right up front – This is not the normal type of book I read. I’m not into vampires, and I’m not really into urban fantasy, and I don’t like sex scenes at all. So if I didn’t like it as much as I should have that because it not my type of book. I was really hoping that the Romanov angle would overcome some of those things though. Because I do like Romanov retelling and re-imaginings.

YOU might like this book though. If vampires, urban fantasy, and all that are your cup of tea then don’t let my preferences turn you off.

It took until about 60% of the way into the book for it to get really interesting for me. It seemed like the author had finally felt that the relationship had been established and now she could go on with the story.

Then we get the good stuff, with mythical beasts, cool fight scenes, magic, back story, and a very cool ending. The ending left me thinking all night long. I enjoy books that leave you thinking as long as they wrapped up the story nicely. It leaves you wondering, but generally satisfied with they way things wrapped up.

I enjoyed the dynamics between the members of the Romanov family. I thought the mythos of magic and vampires and the paranormal side of things was interesting.

Bottom Line:

It was an okay book. Cut down the sex scenes and get to the good stuff faster and it would have been much more interesting for me.

Also can we please get someone to make a webcomix with Jinx and Gypsy. (Or a short story? Or spin off novel? Or something?) I love the Kindred.

Goodreads / Amazon

Review: Solis

SolisSolis
by Kat Ross
(Fourth Talisman #2)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: February 19th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Book Reviews - Loved ItLoved It

Synopsis:

In the second volume of the Fourth Talisman series, Nazafareen’s path takes a twist, setting her on a journey into the heart of the maelstrom…

It’s been a thousand years since the Avas Vatras tried to burn the world to ashes. A thousand years since they were imprisoned in the brutal wasteland called the Kiln. But revenge is a dish best served cold—even, apparently, by the children of fire.

In Delphi, Nazafareen joins forces with the followers of Dionysius to rescue her friends from the Oracle’s dungeons and seek out the three talismans whose extraordinary powers stopped the Vatras before. With her own breaking magic growing stronger by the day, she must walk a razor’s edge to control her volatile temper. And if the Vatras find the talismans first, their last hope will die.

In the frozen wastes of the Valkirin range, Victor strikes an uneasy bargain with bitter enemies to keep his tenuous grip on the Maiden Keep. The other holdfasts are coming for him. But it’s an enemy within Val Moraine’s walls that may prove to be his downfall.

Review:

See my review of the first book, Nocturne here. And see my reviews of the Fourth Element trilogy books 1 & 2 here and book 3 here. I strongly suggest you read at least Nocturne before reading Solis, but if you read the Fourth Element trilogy first you’ll have a lot more of the character’s backgrounds and the Fourth Talisman series will carry more emotional weight.

It’s hard to review another Kat Ross book, simply because they are all amazing! Nocturne left off at a huge cliffhanger, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Solis. It did not disappoint.

It’s thoughtful, mature (not as in x-rated, but as in developed and substantial,) and exciting. I love the complicated relationships between characters and the conflicting motivations (sometimes within the same character.) For a fantasy book this keeps it really grounded.

The world building is excellent. The books is fast-paced. What else can I say? Kat Ross hits another one out of the park. Fantasy readers who haven’t yet been introduced to her NEED to get their hands on one of her books.

Bottom Line:

WHEN DOES THE NEXT BOOK COME OUT?!?!

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Review: Romanov

Romanov
By Samaire Provost
Publication date: January 24th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

In an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan, two enemies battle to the death, while outside, a malevolent entity watches and waits and plots, eager for blood. On an island in the heart of Seattle, an immortal princess struggles to lead a normal life just as a flood of terrifying creatures starts to pour in through a portal that should not be there. A young man meets a classmate while walking home from the college library, and embarks on the most dangerous adventure he’s ever known – will he survive? A deranged madman hunts the girl he’s lusted after for a century, in a relentless pursuit for vengeance. A prehistoric, mythical beast jealously guards a primeval land, which is leaking into present-day Seattle. A sweet, forbidden passion blossoms between two lovers who steal moments whenever they can, while unbeknownst to them, they’re hunted by a deadly creature.

A royal family threatened at its weakest – yet lethal in its own right – is stalked by an ancient evil that will not rest until they are utterly destroyed: a nightmare incarnate that has waited millions of years for revenge threatens the very existence of the young lovers and their family.

Will they prevail?

Review:

I had a problem with my initial ARC copy not working correctly with my Kindle. I thought I would have to drop out of the tour, but after reaching out to the author on Twitter I got a readable version! Because of that I am somewhat behind in my reading and only made it 50% of the way through the book.

By the way, authors who respond to reader on Twitter are the best!

The review reflects on my feeling and impressions so far and I will post again once I have finished the book.

Eric is a typical college student, working part time and living in a small apartment. Anna on the other hand has a very unusual life for a college student, she’s a vampire and she’s royalty. They met one night near campus, and after Eric shows a grieving Anna some compassion sparks quickly begin to fly.

Meanwhile another vampire, and an old enemy, is stalking the city. And something else is stirring.

At this point in the story it’s been a lot of focus on the romance and not much moving the plot forward. Which is sad, because the hints you get at the larger story are great, but they are few and far between. Instead we get a lot of the two lovers communing and sex scenes, which I skip over because that’s just not my thing (especially the kinky vampire kind.) There are some interesting things going on with the vampire mythos in this story, but so far they aren’t being put to much use.

I enjoy the interaction between the members of Anna’s family and think Eric’s cat Jinx needs to have his own series, but I keep waiting for the plot to move forward. But I have to admit that this is not really my kind of book. I was hoping the whole Romanov thing would be enough to overlook the vampire and romance parts, but so far there hasn’t been enough of that in the story. However, YOU might like the book. I totally admit that this is not my typical sort of fare. it might however be yours.

Bottom Line:

To Be Continued. . .

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Review: Nocturne

Nocturne
By Kat Ross
(Fourth Talisman, #1)
Pages:
Publication date: October 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Book Reviews - Loved ItLoved It

Synopsis:

Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night. Solis, a wasteland of endless day.

Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.

But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.

As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?

So begins the first installment in an epic new fantasy series from the author of the Fourth Element Trilogy!

Review:

The Fourth Talisman series picks up the story of Nazafareen and Darius from the Fourth Element trilogy (See my reviews of books 1 & 2 here and book 3 here.) While it’s not necessary to have read them first, I recommend doing so because Nocturne will have a much bigger emotional impact.

Nazafareen has lost her memory and her homeland. Coming to the strange world of Nocturne, a place in perpetual twilight. Sharing this strange world is Solis, a place in perpetual sunlight. In between the two is the formidable Umbra, a place of unpredictable storms and harsh terrain.

Nazafareen is an odd duck in the community of immortal, elemental working Danai. Her relationship with Darius is strained because of his reluctance to tell her of their past together. As the saying goes, “secrets have a price.” In this book the secrets pile up and the price keeps rising.

Along side the story of Nazafareen and Darius is the story of Culach. Once the handsome prince of the Valkirins, this dashing leader has been reduced to a pitiful state after his run-in with Nazafereen. The Valkirin army was decimated and Culach returned to his mountain top home defeated, blinded and crippled. To top off this disgrace he may be loosing his mind, and his father’s attempts at vengeance aren’t going well.

All of the characters are so rich, with deep motivations, real conflicts (both internal and external) and complicated relationships. Set in a world of magic and mystery that feels lived in, but is foreign to the reader and strangely familiar at the same time, add to it the layers of secrets and intrigue all of which make Nocturne a fantastic fantasy read.

This story started out much slower than some of the other Kat Ross books, but then when it picks up steam… watch out! I couldn’t put it down for the last half of the book, and then it left off at an impossible place or at least the characters seemed to be in impossible situations. It couldn’t have left off there. Could it?

(Luckily for me I had already signed up for the ARC tour of Solis, the next book in the series, and I knew it would be coming shortly.)

Bottom Line:

BINGE WORTHY! I suggest reading the Forth Element trilogy and then picking up both Nocturne and Solis at the same time. Trust me at the end of Nocturne you won’t want to stop, you’ll NEED to read on.

Sidenote: Kat Ross is one of the awesome authors on Twitter who will respond to you. Follow her @katrossauthor . 

 

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Review & Giveaway: The Thirteenth Gate

The Thirteenth Gate (Dominion Mysteries Book 2)By Kat Ross
(Dominion Mysteries #2)
Pages: 350
Date Finished: 7/7/17
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Young Adult

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

Synopsis:

Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who’s interviewed their patient and isn’t sure he’s a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she’s ever encountered.

As Jack rampages through London, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he’s searching for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…

Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Sabelline’s death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?

As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?

Review:

I was a little disappointed by The Daemoniac, the first book in the new series by Kat Ross. I mean just a teeny-tiny bit disappointed, afterall it’s still Kat Ross and she’s amazing. But……… after reading the Forth Element series I was expecting more fantasy, more super natural. In the Daemoniac almost everything “super natural” ends up with an explanation. It’s much more like a Sherlock Holmes novel.

But my disappointment ended with The Thirteenth Gate. Which brings in characters and lore from the Forth Element dropping them into 1888 London and New York. It was a rip-roaring adventure tale filled with mystery and danger.

(I do not think it’s necessary for you to have read the Forth Element books in order to enjoy this book. However, it will add a lot to the background story.)

I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I will say that it kept me glued to my Kindle and I finished the book in only two days. The characters, the pace, the multiple threads all drive the story forward and I was almost afraid to blink in case I would miss something. The settings chosen for the book are grand and gritty and the contrast really adds to the action. The setting for the climax is so creepy that it gave me goose bumps. Just, wow, what a choice of setting and characters and action!

Two weak points in the book; One do we have to have Lady Vivienne’s smoking thrust into our face every other page? It just took me out of the story and distracted from an otherwise very deeply drawn character. Two Harry is a little too much like Nancy Drew. Even the way her hair is described made me think of the Girl Detective.

Bottom Line:

I loved it! The Thirteenth Gate fired on all cylinders, and kept the excitement coming. I hope we get a third Dominion Mystery because she certainly left it wide open for more adventure. This book totally made up for the slight disappointment I felt when reading the first book… and then some.

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Review: Empty Threat

By Danny Bell
Pages: 243
Date Finished: 7/15/17

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

Synopsis:

Book Blitz: Empty ThreatElana Black has the power to make herself fictional. But when she decides to start saving all the people in books and TV shows who die just for the sake of advancing the plot, she quickly learns that she’s not the only one with her powers.

All Elana wants to do is save people. But these others don’t want the stories to change, and they’ll do everything they can to stop her.

If you had the power to change fate… to create a happy ending where there wasn’t one before… would you do it if it meant risking your own?

Review:

A book for bookworms, and everyone who wishes they could find magic within themselves. I did a book blitz for Empty Threat and knew right away that I wanted to read this book.

Elana is socially awkward, and more than a little bit of a personal disaster, that is until she’s in her element with a book in hand or at the book store where she works. In fact, I see A LOT of myself in her (except for the ginger hair and living in L.A.) As I read the book I kept thinking “that’s exactly what would be going through my mind too,” or “I would totally feel that same way.”

Elana is such a great character. And she has a good supporting cast in Olivia, her bestie, and Claire, her boss.

The book is written from Elana’s perspective and so as the reader you only know as much as she does. The truth behind her powers and the larger world of those with similar powers remains mostly a mystery to us. I know that this will bother some readers, because the action just keeps up and you are left wanting to have your questions answered. (As I’m sure Elana is too.)

This setup leaves you hungry for more, for me that was good. I liked that there was mystery and undiscovered depth. It gave the world building what it needed to expand from a very narrow viewpoint to a much, much bigger one.

Bottom Line:

I felt like this book was written for me, or with me in mind or something. I connected so heavily with Elana from the very first chapter. Empty Threat is the start of something great. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Amazon / Goodreads

Review: Mirain

By Jacob Reifsteck
Pages: 592
Date Finished: April 15, 2017

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

Princess Sofia, just recently turned old enough to have her own personal guards. The guards, Hector, an unproven, yet ambitious young knight and his sarcastic squire, Mark, sees this as an opportunity of a lifetime to guard the noble lady from the safety of her castle…but the lady has other plans. Her home, the land of Mirain, has prospered under years of peace, but the princess becomes alarmed at the news of possibly superstitious events at the outskirts of the kingdom. Even more alarming is that few knights bother to acknowledge them, preferring to instead compete in tournaments for personal glory and recognition. The princess drags her unwilling guards to investigate the reports of monsters in the far off corners of the realm. Soon, they discovers a much bigger problem than anyone anticipated.

Review:

I keep putting off writing this review, because I want to like this book, I really do. It just has too many problems. It felt like an unfinished or unedited book. But the promise of the book was there, in many little glimpses especially toward the latter half of the book.

The story is basically a coming of age tale for 3 characters Sophia, the crown princess, Hector he personal guard and Mark his squire. From naive young teens ready to take on the world to war weary veterans just desperate to help their friends survive the next onslaught.

The first problem is that the characters are too modern, especially Princess Sofia. The way she talked just ground a nerve, it didn’t fit with the rest of the story or setting. Especially when the characters use the phrase, “Just saying.” That being said her voice matured though out the book and by the end (finally) the dialogue fit the story.

Secondly, the mistakes! Several times characters were called by the wrong name. Once even a sentence was in the wrong place, which completely took me out of the story. The word knew was used instead of new, and there were other mistakes that really should have been caught by an editor.

Soap-Box-Rant: Also you can’t just steal the Uruk-hai from Tolkien. I’m pretty sure that’s copy right infringement or plagiarism or something. It’s one thing to make allusion to another work, or homage to it, but to just straight up take a part of his world and use it as your own that’s not good. They are not commonly used fantasy characters like elves, dwarves and what not they are characters made up by Tolkien for use in his world.

Bottom Line:

Please someone edit this book and put out a second edition! There is a good epic fantasy story hiding in this book, and I hope it will get the rewrite it deserves.

More info about Mirain from Ravenswood Publishers.

Review: The Waterfall Traveler

By S.J. Lem
Pages: 439
Date Finished: May 2, 2017

Book Reviews- Liked it AlotLiked It A lot

Synopsis:

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unexpected love, Ri must discover her own strength to save the men she cares for.

“A gripping, harrowing adventure tale, propelled by a complex, mythology-inflected plot.” ―Kirkus

Review:

I’ll admit the cover was the first thing to catch my eye. It really jumped out of the email from Xpresso Tours  and right at me. The description made it sound like a unique fantasy story, so I requested to be put on the tour. But this book was so much more than what first impressions made it seem.

The Waterfall Traveler, is about Ri an orphan who lives with her guardian Samuel, however Samuel’s mind is affected by a strange ailment and by the time of this story it’s really Ri who is guarding Samuel. Both Ri and Samuel have mysterious pasts, but all Ri cares about is taking care of Samuel. When she gets a hint that there might be a cure out there she wants to find and deliver it.

Things do not go to plan however as beasts with terrible powers move in on her village. Ri is attacked and then saved by a mysterious stranger who can travel through waterfalls. There’s a catch though and it means that Ri will have to learn to live in a world she had never dreamed existed while waiting to return home.

As Ri meets new friends, makes new enemies, as discovers the wider world you go along on the journey, and it’s quite a thrilling ride. As the mysteries of Ri’s world unfold you will be left wanting more. As the story takes me deeper I did not want to leave her world.

The one criticism I have is that the book has a totally unnecessary love triangle in it. The characters were solid, the action great, the world building good- it really didn’t need a love triangle (even if it is kinda down played.) It didn’t add anything to the story and left me rolling my eyes on more than one occasion. It’s the only reason this book didn’t get a “loved it” rating.

Bottom Line:

I could hardly put it down, and when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it. The characters and world are so rich you really feel like you’re part of Ri’s adventure. The ups and downs of the story just worked beautifully to bring the book to it’s exciting climax. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for something new and different in fantasy.

Purchase: Amazon

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Review: Who Counts? & A Morning with Grandpa

Because today, March 28th is Children’s Picture Book Day I’m going to share my review of the latest ARC picture books I’ve received. I don’t normally post them to my blog because they are often much shorter than my other reviews. Occasionally I will get a picture book to review and I always save them to read with my 6 year-old goddaughter.

Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons

By Amy-Jill Levine
Pages: 40

Synopsis:

One sheep makes a difference. Without her something is missing. Now my flock is complete.

Oh, no! The man is missing his sheep! The woman is missing her coin! The father is missing his son! Can you help them find what they are looking for?

Who Counts? is a creative retelling of three popular parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. As young readers count to help the characters find what s missing, Who Counts? teaches that every one of us counts in God s eyes and that everyone should feel counted.

The stories are beautifully illustrated with modern-day characters and a diversity of ethnicities so that all children will be able to see themselves in the stories.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s a 3-part retelling of some of the parables of Jesus. Using bright, colorful pictures it tells the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. The first two stories are great, the ones about the sheep and the coin. But then on the third story, the lost/prodigal son, it goes kinda sideways. I agree with an earlier reviewer who said they were uncomfortable with the slant it took. In trying to make the third story more like the first two it changes the end of the parable a bit. Story-wise it makes sense, but Biblically it’s not a good interpretation. Otherwise I would be able to rate this book much higher.

Bottom Line:

Skip it. This book has a great idea, that just goes off course enough to make me uneasy with it.

A Morning with Grandpa


By Sylvia Liu
Pages: 32

Synopsis:

Mei Mei s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the LEE & LOW New Voices Award, this title celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!

Review:

A wonderful book! Both the pictures and story are just lovely. The book is about a little girl and her Grandfather spending a Sat morning together. The grandfather, Gong Gong, is outside doing Tai Chi, and the little girl, Mei Mei, wants to join. The illustrations flow with the story as they move through the poses, with Mei Mei not quite grasping the idea of Tai Chi movements. Then the story flips with Mei Mei trying to teach Gong Gong yoga moves, which he finds difficult to follow. Eventually they find a form that fits them both. A great story to use to introduce multicultural families to children, or to introduce yoga or Tai Chi to kids. The 6 year old loves this book!

Bottom Line:

Get it, if you’re looking to add more multicultural books to your child’s library. It’s a great book and has lots of potential for rereading or for classroom reading.

That’s it. What new picture books have you read lately? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to pick up a picture book today.

Review: Queen of Chaos

By Kat Ross
Pages: 374
Date Finished: Jan 15, 2017

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

Synopsis:

Persepolae has fallen.

Karnopolis has burned.

As the dark forces of the Undead sweep across what remains of the empire, Nazafareen must obey the summons of a demon queen to save Darius’s father, Victor. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand and can barely control, Nazafareen embarks on a perilous journey through the shadowlands to the House-Behind-the-Veil. But what awaits her there is worse than she ever imagined…

A thousand leagues away, Tijah leads a group of children on a desperate mission to rescue the prisoners at Gorgon-e Gaz, the stronghold where the oldest daēvas are kept. To get there, they must cross the Great Salt Plain, a parched ruin occupied by the armies of the night. A chance encounter adds a ghost from the past to their number. But will they arrive in time to avert a massacre?

And in the House-Behind-the-Veil, Balthazar and the Prophet Zarathustra discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. But is it enough to redeem the necromancer’s bloodstained soul and thwart his mistress’s plans?

As a final showdown looms with Queen Neblis, the truth of the daēvas’ origins is revealed and three worlds collide in this thrilling conclusion to the Fourth Element series.

Review:

I reviewed the first two books in this series, The Midnight Sea and the Blood of the Prophet last year – read that review here.

Queen of Chaos picks up right where Blood of the Prophet left off (These books are so fast paced and each picks up where the previous left off and I recommend reading them all back-to-back.) Our hero’s are scattered after the fall of Xeros’ empire to Alexander. Tijan and a group of daēvas children travel across a barren landscape ravaged by the hordes of undead from Bactria. Nazafareen and Darius travel into the dominion searching after Victor, and eventually they get separated too. The tight group of former Water Dogs is no more, and each must find there own way in a world in chaos.

You really need to read the first two books to be invested enough in this world to understand all the thread and currents in The Queen of Chaos. The story is complicated without being convoluted, and I think that’s really an accomplishment. Too many modern fantasy stories think they have to be so expansive, with so many characters, and so much  going on that the reader can easily loose some of the threads or become disinterested. (I’m reading another series right now and the final book it giving me this exact problem, there is so much going on I can hardly keep it all straight and it spends a lot of time on story lines that don’t seem to be moving the plot forward.) Ross keeps this the book balanced while moving the action forward.

There are several character development twist that came to me a quite a pleasant surprise. Without giving away any spoilers, the way things work out between Nazafareen and Neblis really caught my interest. It could have easily fallen into a fantasy troupe, but not only did it get turned on it’s head, the whole way things worked out for the bad guys was atypical, and I enjoyed that.

Of course, there are new monsters, big battles, and plenty of action in the book too.

Bottom Line:

Wow! Kat Ross knows how to write an epic.

The twists and turns the books takes as it leads up to the final conflicts swept me along. The world of the Forth Element yielded up some more of it’s secrets, but not all. It left me wanting more. Wanting to dig deeper and spend more time in the fantasy version of Persia that Ross built up. (In fact, over on my Tumblr I am doing an Owl-A-Day doodle and dedicated one day to owls inspired by ancient Persian art.)

I highly recommend this series. And right now the first book, The Midnight Sea is free for Kindle.

Purchase:
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