Category Archives: Fantasy

The House at Divoro by Charlotte E. English – Review

Title – The House at Divoro (The Malykant Mysteries Book 7)
Author – Charlotte E. English
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 155 Pages
Publication – May 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

When Nanda shows up with a pressing invitation to a post-Solstice house party, Konrad is unenthusiastic. Eino Holt, their host, might have a taste for theatricals, but Konrad emphatically does not.

But then a corpse turns up, mutilated and hidden in a pantry cupboard. Konrad soon learns that the house at Divoro harbours many a dark secret…

Dark fantasy meets classic murder mystery in this seventh installment of Charlotte E. English’s Malykant Mysteries.

Review

Oh how I love Konrad.. I’m so glad we have another story to read. First off I must say the covers for the series keep getting better and for me fit the tale perfectly.

Followers of my reviews will know I’m a big fan of Charlotte’s work. She has to be my favourite writer so the bar is always set high.

Well once again she’s leapt over the bar set by the previous tale and has given me the best one yet.

What English always seems to get spot on for me is the balance between story and character development. In a short tale it’s not easy to make you enjoy the characters but English does just that, building on previous tales but at the same time a reader could easily pick the series up from here as we are given just the right amount of background info when setting up the scenes that it’s easy to understand the relationships between the main characters.

My favourite line of the book has to be “it was bad because he felt as fresh as an aged pair of socks, and approximately as lively” – Sounds like me most days ha

As I’ve said this is the best tale yet, English easily keeps the series fresh and interesting and I love the continuing development of Konrad. He doesn’t like to give much away but he’s a loveable character.

In this tale, as usual a body is found..but there’s a few strange twists that leave you thinking “What?” or “How?”. It’s these twists and turns that keep you hooked.

Again what I’ve always loved about the authors work is  the writing itself.. Never dumbed down but never overly complex, it might be a dark tale but the writing is suitable for young and old alike.

The suspense was killing me with this one right till the end and the page count means you can easily get sucked in and read this in one sitting or over two.

Konrad struggles  in the tale more than the last to keep his secret life just that..a secret so it was a great chance to see him put his different personas to use.

I can’t write a review on this book without mentioning Optapi and Eetapi, Konrad’s serpents who help him in his role as the Malykant, their dark humour makes them quirky and fun and I love when they show up. It’s a strange relationship between them and Konrad and for me it’s the best thing about the series..after the plot of course 🙂

The Malykant series is rather unique in my opinion. I’ve read nothing like it before and I just can’t get enough.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Juggernaut: a new sequel to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Eamonn Martin Griffin – Review

Title – Juggernaut: a new sequel to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Author – Eamonn Martin Griffin/Robert Louis Stevenson
Genre – Fantasy/Horror
Length – 311 Pages
Publication – March 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

A thrilling new sequel to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

1911. London is in limbo between two monarchs. Edward is dead and George not yet crowned.

Ex-military doctor Toby Latimer is lately installed in private practice after Boer War service. His life is easy, his indolence assuaged by East End charitable work.

Latimer is summoned to an irascible client. He finds he’s been summoned to witness a will reading. The will is that of one Edward Hyde.

And now, Latimer’s life is anything but straightforward…

Presented here as a chilling double-bill in one volume for the first time: Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde together with Eamonn Martin Griffin’s all-new continuation, Juggernaut.

Review

I’ve reviewed author Eamonn Martin Griffin before and love his work so when he contacted me to say a new book was out I jumped at the chance to read it.

Now two things stood out. Firstly the cover.. Damn that’s a nice cover! I would have bought this book based on that alone. Secondly Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has to be my favourite classic horror tale. I loved it as a kid and still do now.

If you’ve not read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde then fear not.. now is the time as that tale is included.

What happened if someone else found out about Jekyll’s work? 20 years later Hyde’s will shows up, why now? Well I’m not going to spoil it for you, you’ll need to read Juggernaut!

Okay..maybe one little tit bit..lets just say Jekyll and Hyde’s legacy certainly isnt gone..but just who is behind things and what does Juggernaut stand for.. read and see 🙂

So what does Griffin bring to the tale? To start with he gets the flow of the book spot on and the two books work perfectly. He brings the language up to date but at the same time it really does feel like the stories fit together.

If you liked the suspense of Stevenson’s work you’ll love Juggernaut as Griffin keeps this style of tale going strong right until the end when the pieces of the puzzle are put together.

It takes a brave man to write a sequel to such an established book but Griffin did a brilliant job for me and I think it will help boost his reputation as an author but also  open up the world of Stevenson to a new generation of youngsters who might have been put off by the language used by Stevenson.

For me this was an exciting read.. not only is it a brilliant piece of storytelling in itself but it breathes life into one of my favourite books.

I do think Stevenson would enjoy Griffins sequel and I hope you do too.

Griffin has a talent from writing and this books just cements how good he is.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Deadly Cavern by Grace & Thomas Lockhaven – Review

Title – The Deadly Cavern (Quest Chasers, #1)
Author – Grace & Thomas Lockhaven
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 164 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

If you knew that your curiosity may take you to a place from which you may never return, would you go?

Tommy and Eevie get trapped in an underground labyrinth filled with deadly traps and puzzles. They must solve each riddle to survive, but every solution leads them closer to what is certain to be their demise.

The Deadly Cavern is the first book of Quest Chasers, a fiction-fantasy series, where characters Tommy and Eevie are taken to a magical adventure you won’t soon forget.
If you like fantasymagical lands and puzzles, then you’ll love Grace and Thomas Lockhaven’s Quest Chasers!

Review

I’m a massive fan of young adult fantasy, I just love how simple, fun and enjoyable it can be and The Deadly Cavern was just that.

Tommy and Eevie have heard stories about a tree.. a tree that’s been around for years and holds a dark secret. When a fellow student claims to have been attacked by that very tree they set out to investigate.

Thery’re soon sucked into a labyrinth with challenges at every turn which they must complete in order to escape.

What I really enjoyed about the tale was the challenges themselves which had me thinking the possible solution in my head..it made it really fun an engaging.

I thought the writing was great and the plot sound, perfect for a young adult fantasy book. It wasn’t overly complex with its words but it never felt dumbed down either and the story flows easily allowing the younger readers to easily keep track of the events that happen. I’d say age range it’s aimed at early teens but I very much enjoyed it and will continue to see how the series plays out.

The ending really surprised me, perfect and sets up future books..It definitely left me with the wow feeling.

If you enjoy the genre you’ll love it! I’d also say if you’re looking for a fun easy read then why not give it a go. I’d certainly say this is a good one for parents to read with their children.

As kids we always dream of going on an adventure and its books like this that keep those dreams alive and the little boy in me excited.

My thanks go to Grace for supplying a copy of the book for review.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Spirit of Solstice by Charlotte E. English (@Charlottenglish) – Review

Title – The Spirit of Solstice (The Malykant Mysteries Book 6)
Author –Charlotte E. English
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 92 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

Solstice Eve, and Konrad is dragged from his bed to investigate the murder of a local wine merchant. The man’s as dead as they come, but his spirit seems oddly unperturbed by his passing.

More victims are swift to emerge, all killed in the same brutal style — and all with strange, unheard-of reactions to the news of their own demise. Is it just the Solstice spirit, or is there something else afoot? Something stranger, darker and far more dangerous…

Review

I don’t know how Charlotte does it but this series gets better and better with each story.

Konrad is the Malykant, He seeks justice for those murdered and he has a growing group of followers to help him. My favourites being Optapi and Eetapi as always. Their dark humour always has me smiling. The relationship between them and Konrad is a strange one, I don’t think Konrad wants to admit it but as much as he doesn’t like the serpents he’d be lost without them.

This case is a very perplexing to start with..a man is found murdered but seems happy to be dead when the serpents bind him. Why?

More bodies turn up and the curiosity grows with each death.

Now I don’t want to spoil the tale by giving away too much detail but Konrad has to root out fact from fiction to discover the identity of the killer but the strange manner of the deaths means this isn’t a quick open and shut case.

I loved the injection of myths in this tale. Fantasy and myth blend so well for me and it made for an extraordinary tale.

What the author manages to do superbly well is that she builds on the previous foundations set in the series and develops the relationships. Konrad is still coming to terms with feeling emotions and in this tale it looks like having emotions might not be the best thing.

While I loved the original ensemble of characters I really enjoyed the return of Tasha, she’s very unique and I love the relationship she has with Konrad and the growing support she has to offer with her own set of skills.

Once again I’m shocked at how much Charlotte can fit into so few pages. At 92 pages this is exactly what a short story should be..It’s a full tale, fast flowing and easy to follow, no unanswered questions & nothing feels rushed.

Charlotte’s tales are dark and a mildly gruesome at times but are very enjoyable and well suited to a young adults and above. I think what I really enjoy is Charlotte’s use of language, it’s never dumbed down but never too complex to put a reader off either.

I’ve said it before but Charlotte is Queen of the short tales for me. She never sets a foot wrong and they’re perfect if you don’t have the time to read a longer length novel.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Indefatigable by J.B. Garner (@JBGarner_Writes) – Review

Title –  Indefatigable (The Push Chronicles #2)
Author – J.B. Garner
Genre – Superhero/Fantasy
Length – 167 Pages
Publication – Sept 2014
My Rating –4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Three months ago, the Whiteout changed the very nature of reality across the globe, spawning in its wake superhuman beings, both good and evil. For every day since then, Irene Roman, armed only with a strange immunity from the powers of the ‘Pushed’, has donned the guise of Indomitable to try to reverse that change and protect the normal people from the worst excesses of the Pushed. She may never have wanted to be a hero, but she had no choice in the mater.

Unfortunately, Irene is still only mortal. Her never-ending duties have pushed her to a breaking point. Now, what began as a simple kidnapping investigation catalyzes overnight into the worst threat the city of Atlanta has had to face. An unholy plague, old enemies, and new challenges are coincide at once, landing squarely on Indomitable’s shoulders, despite the help of her small cadre of allies.

How much burden can any one person carry and how much strain can she take? Will Irene crumble or will she prove to be indefatigable?

Indefatigable is the second novel of The Push Chronicles. This tale of an altered Earth will conclude with Incorruptible, coming in 2015.

Review

I can honestly say I enjoyed this one more than the first. The first book was a clear-cut good vs bad tale whereas this book has more to it…some motives aren’t 100% clear at first which made it more interesting.

Click here to view my review of book one – Indomitable

After the events of the previous book Irene and her friends are still tackling their fair share of Push crooks.

Epic is still around but has cleaned up his act a little..although he still believes he should rule he’s helping protect the people from the Push crooks too, although him and Irene have very different views and their teams try to stay clear of each other.

In this tale an old enemy resurfaces and starts to wreak havoc and Irene/Indomitable has to do everything within her power to find out who is behind things and what the ultimate end goal is.

Indomitable isn’t like the Pushed and with the constant workload she’s running on empty..pushing herself to the limit and at times you think she’s one step away from collapsing. The first book was a fight of good vs evil, in this book I feel the fight was more an internal one for Irene.

The plot builds nicely on the first book in the series and it definitely felt stronger, I enjoyed it more. What made the story even better was the addition of the Argent Archer character, he’s one of Epic’s crusaders sent to help Indomitable in her time of need.

There’s a few decent twists in this tale that keep you engaged and we get a lovely cliff-hanger ending that has me itching to follow this one up quickly.

At 167 pages it’s a short and fast paced book. It’s easy to follow and suitable for YA and big kids alike.

My thanks go to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Veiled Intentions by Michael R. Miller (@MMDragons_Blade) – Review

Title – The Dragon’s Blade: Veiled Intentions
Author – Michael R. Miller
Genre – Epic Fantasy
Length – 467 Pages
Publication – Feb 2017

My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Rectar has always had his sights set on conquering the human lands. His demonic invasion of the west is gaining momentum – an unrelenting horde unhindered by food or sleep. Now, only the undermanned Splintering Isles lie between the demons and the human kingdom of Brevia. If the islands fall, the rest of Tenalp will soon follow.

The Three Races must work together if they are to survive, but they have another problem – Castallan. The traitorous wizard has raised a deadly rebellion and declared himself King of Humans. He believes himself safe in the bowels of his impenetrable Bastion fortress, but Darnuir, now King of Dragons, intends to break those walls at all costs.

To face these threats, all dragons, humans and fairies must truly unite; yet old prejudices may undermine Darnuir’s efforts once again. And as the true intentions of all are revealed, so too is a secret that may change the entire world.

Review

After the events of the first book we know war is coming but there’s so much more to this book than just one big fight.

The three races are plagued by trust issues. The Dragon’s still see themselves above humans, especially since Castallan has manged to turn a large number of humans to his cause but they must come together if they stand any chance of beating back the demons.

It’s a battle of wills fought on a number of fronts, Darnuir has a clear plan and it’s not what you might think.. the negative effect magic has on him makes him dependent on it so he flies wildly about looking for any excuse to draw his blade and the magic it contains. I loved this negative side effect to magic, it shows it’s not something to be messed with..you need to know how to manage it..and Darnir just can’t cope without it now.

Blaine is back and he has his own internal demons to deal with as well as the physical demons sent by Rectar. He was still a mystery after the first book but this one brings some much needed depth to the character.

The most interesting development is the continued friction between the demons and the spectres..You should remember from the first book the leader of the spectres knows his master has a plan..and this plan doesn’t require him or his kind.

What I really love about this series is good and bad aren’t so clear cut.  Magic always seems so cool and fun..not in this book, it’s poison! The spectres who control the demons hordes are only doing what they are forced to do.. some just want to live, they tire of war. Darnir even though he’s fighting ultimately for the good of the three races has motivations that aren’t so just, he craves the magic and this drives him on at times.

The three races split their forces up to best fight the demons and this allowed the story to stay fresh as we moved from fight to fight.

Character development is always high on my list of wants and this book has tones. Some characters from the previous book take a step as others new and old get their time to shine but it all worked for me.

This is what fantasy should be, swords and magic, fairies and dragons. This book builds nicely on the first book and sets up the final book perfectly. The next book will have a lot to live up to.

Some secrets are revealed but you can tell the author has more to give to make the final installment an explosive one.

This is epic fantasy which I love but what gave it the wow factor for me is that things aren’t black and white. There are hidden depths to a lot of the characters and this meant I never knew what to expect next.

My thanks go to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I hope many of you will agree with my take on things.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Corpse Thieves (The Malykant Mysteries Book 5) by Charlotte E. English – Review

Title – The Corpse Thieves (The Malykant Mysteries Book 5)
Author – Charlotte E. English
Genre – Horror/Fantasy
Length – 94 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

Danil Dubin is a murderer. He knows this because he’s been told — by the many witnesses to his crime.

Only, he has no memory of it himself.

It’s part of a spate of similar killings, and Konrad must act. But how can he deliver The Malykt’s justice to a man with no reason to kill, and no knowledge of his crime?

Review

I’m so glad to be back with Konrad, Optapi and Eetapi. I always find comfort reading Charlotte’s work as I always know I’ll enjoy it and she has such an imaginative mind you can’t but help love the story.

This Is the 5th book in the Malykant Mysteries series and we are back with Konrad..he’s having a bit of a slump. His job is to dispense justice on those who commit murder but everything is quiet.. you know it won’t last though.

The case is a little different this time. Although someone dies Konrad is not so sure of where the guilt lies and as such sets out to investigate. The lamaeni we discovered in a previous tale show their faces and we learn just how far one of their kind will take things.

The relationships that have built over the series continue and this really does add something to the tale. Konrad struggles with emotions but this struggle brings some depth to the dark and mysterious man. He doesn’t want to admit how he feels and stores it up inside..sometimes you really feel if he just used his voice things might work out better but Konrad likes to do things the hard way.

For me, once again it’s a 5* story from Charlotte, she never lets me down. When I read the book it was like I had blinkers on..The whole world around me shut off and for a couple of hours spread over two nights I was in the author’s world and it’s just wonderful.

What Charlotte always gets right for me is the balance between plot and descriptive writing. She gives you the right amount of detail when needed but understands the plot of the story doesn’t require too much.

At 94 pages it’s a short story but it doesn’t feel like it. Charlotte’s work for me is always so developed I feel you actually read 3 times as much as she’s wrote simply because you take the time to really immerse yourself in the tale or read between the lines and replay moments from the previous books.

I’m no wordsmith, the only way I can describe why I enjoy Charlotte’s work so much is how easy the writing flows. The writing isn’t dumbed down but I’m never stuck wondering what a word means either. You’re never stuck reading pages of dialogue then pages of detail what you get with these books is a well written and engrossing read from 1st page to last.

I do enjoy the author’s longer works but for me she’s Queen of the short story.

This is the best story yet for Konrad. I’ve already downloaded book 6 so can’t wait to get to grips with it

To find out more head to Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads.

If you’ve not read the previous books in the series I highly recommend the compendium of books 1 – 4. It’s a bargain price and you won’t regret it. You can find it here on Amazon or Smashwords.

You can also see my review here – The Malykant Mysteries Compendium: Books 1 – 4