Category Archives: ARC Review

Nemesis: Review

Nemesis (Fourth Talisman, #4)
by Kat Ross
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: October 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Book Reviews - Loved ItLoved It

Synopsis:

Content Rating: Adult content including sex and violence. Contains LGBT content.

In the fourth volume of the Fourth Talisman series, Nazafareen risks everything on a desperate gamble to stop the Vatras once and for all…

With Meb safely among her own people, Nazafareen has finally embraced her dangerous fire magic. She is the Fourth Talisman, destined to free the heirs from the wards binding their own extraordinary power. With Nocturne and Solis poised on the brink of war, the choices she makes will decide the fate of mortals and daevas alike.

Determined to confront Culach and make amends, Nazafareen goes to Val Moraine, setting off a chain of events that ultimately leads her deep into the perilous wasteland called the Kiln and the faceless enemy waiting there. But the ancient hatred that shattered the world a millennium before is stronger and far more devious than she and her companions imagine.

Is the Viper truly dead? And can Nazafareen triumph without facing the darkness that lurks within her own heart?

Review:

It is so hard to review a book like this, because I don’t want to give any spoilers away. Let’s just say that if you have any inkling of interest in the series you should go buy it. Go buy it now! Don’t even finish reading this review, just click on this link and go buy it.

The emotional investment I have in these books is crazy. Having been with Nazafareen and Darius for seven books now has been incredible and their story only keeps getting better. There’s more drama, more action, more crazy villains, and more reasons to love Kat Ross’s world build in Nemesis, but it won’t mean much if you haven’t put the time in. At the very least get started with Nocturne, because Nemesis isn’t a book you can just jump into.

This book builds to a crescendo in the series, which is hard to believe considering what the action has been like in the other books. Tensions are running high as true evil finally shows itself. From the mountain of Val Moraine down into crypts filled with secrets, to the Umbria where a showdown results in unbelievable tragedy and into the dangerous wastelands of the Kiln this book keeps you hooked with action, drama, great characters and an imaginative fantasy world. It’s unlike any other fantasy I’ve read.

Once you pick up this series you won’t want to put it down. I keep saying it because it’s true, “Kat Ross writes binge worthy fantasy.”

Bottom Line:

That ending… GAAAAAA!!! Kat Ross what have you done to me?! And when does Inferno come out? I needed it yesterday.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Read my reviews of Other Kat Ross Titles:

The Fourth Talisman Series:
Nocturne
Solis
Monstrum

The Fourth Element Series:
The Midnight Sea and The Blood of the Prophet
Queen of Chaos

Dominion Mysteries
The Daemoniac
The Thirteenth Gate

Sophia Writes to Her Bully: Review

Sophia Writes to Her Bully
By Dr. Mildred D. Peyton, with Leah N. Peyton and Jada L. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 24 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: February 21, 2017

Book Reviews - Liked ItLiked It

Synopsis:

Content Rating: G

Sophia experiences verbal and social (also referred to as relational) bullying from her classmates during recess. Whenever Sophia attempts to play with a group of students from her fourth-grade class, she is rejected; Amber also calls her an inappropriate name. Only when Sophia takes action by confronting her bully with a letter does her victimization finally end. Want to know what Sophia was being called and how her classmates treated her? Read Sophia Writes to Her Bully and find out what her letter is all about!

Social exclusion is a form of bullying experienced by some children. When it occurs, they feel isolated, alone, and humiliated. It is important for parents to be informed and talk with their children about all types of bullying (e.g., verbal, physical, social/relational, and cyberbullying) so they are better equipped to intervene or prevent their child from bullying others or being a victim of bullying.

Review:

I choose to do this book because I wanted to do a post for Bullying Prevention Month which is October.  The story is one that many kids will recognize, from both points of view. Sophia just wants to play with a group of friends during recess, but they keep excluding her.  Amber seems to be excluding without thinking about it or without realizing what she’s doing. I think it’s important to remember that not every bully is a “mean kid”. Frankly sometimes kids just say mean things without thinking about it, they may be afraid of including someone new in their group, or they may not know how to handle situations with new people.

When Sophia comes home and tells her mom what’s been happening  her mom acts with empathy, but doesn’t blow up the issue. I appreciated that she took some time to think about a solution while allowing Sophia some time to rest and refresh. Her mother doesn’t tell her what a bad person those other kid are, or tell her to just ignore them,  or call up the school and demand that they do something. Her calm solution helps to defuse the problem rather than escalate it.

The solution resolves itself rather quickly, and I would have preferred if the book had gone on for a few more pages with Amber and Sophia having to take a few more steps to resolve their problem.

The illustrations are unique, very colorful and expressive, and much improved from the first book (see more below.)

Bottom Line:

A book that you can use to create space for conversations around bullying, but stops short of being a really good book.

Goodreads / Amazon


A Bully on the School Bus
by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton and Leah N. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 26 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: Sept 2015

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

Content Rating: G

Nicole is the main character in the book “A Bully on the School Bus.” Nicole is a young girl who rides the school bus to school every day. It wasn’t until Nicole started experiencing problems with another bus-rider named Dylan when she became uncomfortable being on this bus. Her experience with Dylan is a form of bullying, and she was frightened. After several incidences, Nicole made her parent aware and found a way to solve the problem.

Review:

The first book in by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton and it feels like it. Phrases are awkward, and the flow of the book just seems off. The illustrations are amateurish and while they are expressive they just don’t seem professional. This book has a great idea, but really needs more polish.

Goodreads / Amazon

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends Nov 3, 2018

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Island on Fire: Review

Island on FireIsland on Fire
by Sophie Schiller
Publication date: April 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Thriller

Book Reviews - Loved ItLoved It

Synopsis:

Content Rating: Adult content including scenes of violence and abuse. Also contains Voodoo and pagan ritual scenes. No sexually explicit content.

In the lush, tropical world of Martinique where slavery is a distant memory and voodoo holds sway, Emilie Dujon discovers that her fiancé, a rich sugar planter, has been unfaithful. Desperate to leave him, she elicits the aid of a voodoo witch doctor and is lured into a shadowy world of black magic and extortion. When the volcano known as Mount Pelée begins to rumble and spew ash, she joins a scientific committee sent to investigate the crater. During the journey she meets Lt. Denis Rémy, an army officer with a mysterious past.

At the summit, the explorers discover that a second crater has formed and the volcano appears to be on the verge of eruption. But when they try to warn the governor, he orders them to bury the evidence for fear of upsetting the upcoming election. As the pressure builds, a deadly mudslide inundates Emilie’s plantation and she disappears. With ash and cinders raining down, chaos ensues. Left with no choice, Lt. Rémy deserts his post and sets off on a desperate quest to rescue Emilie. But with all roads blocked, can they escape the doomed city of St. Pierre before it’s too late?

Island on Fire Tour

Review:

Oh man, where to even begin? This books was at times exciting, at times suspenseful, and also aggravating. (I mean government can be aggravating anyway, but a government who refuses to see the impending doom of a volcano in full eruption is a special kind of aggravation. I managed to keep from throwing my Kindle across the room, even if I did want to try to shake some sense into a few government officials in the book.)

I was completely unfamiliar with the island of Martinique before reading this book. The author does such a good job of describing the setting and the historical time period that I really felt like I had a feel for 1902 Martinique and the island’s geography by the end. And it was written in a way that didn’t take away from the action. It sounds like an absolutely beautiful place to visit.

There are 3 unique conflicts going on at the same time. The heroine Emilie has a lot on her hands. It starts out seemingly simple enough with her discovery of her fiancé cheating, then it adds the mystery of the volcano, and a new love interest in Rémy. As more and more is revealed about Lucien and Emilie becomes more desperate to escape from his controlling and abusive behavior she turns to Voodoo. By the end Emilie is dealing with multiple enemies her crazed fiancé Lucien, the Voodoo Grand Mamy and the erupting volcano.

By the last quarter of the book I was conflicted… I HAD to know how it all ended, but I was almost scared to finish it, being totally unsure of how it was going to end. As I sped through those last chapters I was almost breathless. The action and the drama was absolutely intense. You could practically feel the force of the volcano. The danger that Emilie and Rémy faced on all side was palpable.

I’ll end as I began… oh man!

Bottom Line:

In a word, intense! A great read with a strong heroine a fantastic setting and lots of action.

Goodreads / Amazon

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monstrum: Review

Monstrum
by Kat Ross
(Fourth Talisman, #3)
350 pages
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Book Reviews - Loved ItLoved It

Synopsis:

Content Rating: Adult content including sex and violence (although not graphic in nature except for one scene of royal succession.) Contains LGBT content.

Fourth Talisman series, the hunt is on for the three daevas whose powers saved the world once before….

On the White Sea, realm of smashers and sea monsters, a ship is carrying Nazafareen and Darius to the Isles of the Marakai, where the wise woman Sakhet-ra-katme has guarded the secret of the talismans for centuries. But another is searching too, a daeva born in the brutal prison of the Kiln, who plans to use the talismans to free the Vatras and their mad king. When their paths collide at the emperor’s lavish palace in Tjanjin, Nazafareen and Darius face their deadliest and most cunning foe yet.

In the mountain fastness of Val Moraine, the Pythia’s minions are on the scent of another talisman, this one from the Danai clan. Trapped behind a thick wall of ice, everyone’s going slightly mad—the perfect cauldron of suspicion and betrayal for Thena, who sees a chance to redeem her failure and bring the talisman back to Delphi. Then she’ll be free to indulge her twisted obsession with Darius—and make him pay.

And in Samarqand, Javid is drawn into the treacherous currents of a royal succession. When the old king dies and his son takes the throne, the depths of the prince’s depravity become clear. A journey north reveals the source of the spell dust he’s addicted to—and leaves Javid with an impossible choice.

Review:

See my reviews of Nocturne (Fourth Talisman, #1) and  Solis (Fourth Talisman #2). It’s very hard to review the third book out of a four book series (at least I assume it’s four books. The forth book Nemsis has been announced.)

By this time I am super deeply invested in these characters. I’ve been with Nazafareen and Darius since the beginning. Although you don’t have to read their first series, The Fourth Element Trilogy, it does add emotional weight to the Forth Talisman (and it’s EXCELLENT!)

By this time in the series I’m an emotional wreck because THINGS ARE NOT WORKING OUT! The Pythia and her lackey Thena are ruining everything and Nicodemus is running amok and Victor is going crazy and things are FALLING APART at Val Moraine!!! Ok, Ok… back up.

You probably have no idea what I’m blabbing on about if you haven’t read the first books. Which is what makes this so hard, it’s not a stand alone novel. The story is so big and complicated at this point that its almost impossible to wrap it up neatly for you( and it is most definitely not wrapped up neatly by the end of Monstrum although there is a clear course for our characters to follow.)

The world building and character development are great. It’s why I feel so invested in this series. Every character is well thought out and complex. Even minor characters feel lived in.

The world of Nocturne/Solis is mysterious and familiar, the mythology so well done and the locations are amazing without having to take too much time away from the action.

The plot is complex and rich, every turn is filled with either action, love, or lies.

The Forth Talisman series is excellent in nearly every way and Monstrum is no exception.

It was a book I couldn’t wait to finish and yet dreaded to finish because I know that I there’ll be looong wait for the conclusion of the story. I just couldn’t bear to say goodbye to these characters, leaving them when there was still so much happening.

Bottom Line:

Kat Ross writes binge worthy fantasy stories. Get Nocturne and Solis and Monstrum, lock yourself away somewhere with lots of snacks and read them!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway