Category Archives: Young Adult

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.

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Torc by Eamonn Griffin (@eamonngriffin) – Review

Title – Torc
Author – Eamonn Griffin
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction
Publication – 1st Oct 2016
Pages – 258 Pages – Paperback
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The west coast of Scotland, present day. Ailsa’s world is threatened when the future of the hotel she calls home comes under threat. She’s saddled with her cousin Tom for the day while the adults talk, but Ailsa has a plan that might just save their way of life. The same village, two thousand years earlier. Iona, daughter of clan chief Duer, is given a vital errand; a Roman incursion into their homelands is rumoured, and a scout has not returned. Iona’s task is to complete the scouting mission. The two girls’ lives become entangled through time; linked by their shared homelands, their dreams, and an artefact that binds them together across the centuries.

Review

Torc was a lovely read from start to finish. It’s a YA book but can be enjoyed by older adults just as much.

We have a tale focused around an item called a Torc. A Torc is a piece of jewellery and I must admit, until now I’ve never heard of the word but I’m sure many like me will know what they are once you look them up. It’s not a word I’ll forget now :).

Ailsa stumbles upon this Torc hidden beneath a skull but why was it buried??

Well many years before another young girl Iona is living her life. Unbeknownst to her the Roman advance is about to change her life forever.

The story continues, each chapter changing the focus from Ailsa to Iona and back. I really enjoyed how the author managed to intertwine the two lives.

I think what the author got spot on was the descriptiveness of the book. Written in such a way as not to bombard the younger readers but to stoke their imagination and ignite a love of history I think we all have in us if we find the right point in time.

The big surprise for me was the ending. Did the Torc really connect the two girls physically or was this all just Ailsa’s childhood imagination?

For me I felt perhaps Alisa was imagining the events that could have played out in order to deal with the pressure of finding the item. She knows a discovery like this could change many things about where she lives..and not all will be for the better. She’s torn inside as to what to do and I feel this connection with the item is what helps her come to the decision she does in the end. It was really good to see the character deal with the dilemma in the way she did.

Overall Torc is a very family friendly tale, super easy to read but also very informative at the same time. It plants the seeds to hook young readers in to the world of history and the possibility of untold and unknown stories of the past.

I must also comment on the cover for this one, loved it! This one definitely looks good on my bookshelf.

Have a look!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work.

The Silver Portal by David J. Normoyle – Review

Title – The Silver Portal (Weapons of Power, #1)
Author – David J. Normoyle
Genre –  Fantasy/Young Adult
Length –   320 Pages
Publication – 9th august 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

The Lord Protector’s red clerics have become entrenched throughout Mageles, leaving only pockets of resistance. As a desperate last resort, a group of wizards concocted the weapons of power. Their spell misfired and, instead of going to the five chosen warriors, the weapons end up in the hands of an aspiring adventurer, a reluctant warrior, a street rat, a conflicted pacifist, and a pampered noblegirl. Separated by a continent and pursued by magic-wielding clerics, the young weaponbearers must find each other—but first they must find themselves.

An epic coming of age fantasy bursting with magic and adventure, The Silver Portal is the first book in the Weapons of Power series. Set in a richly drawn world with an intricate magic system, The Silver Portal will delight lovers of page-turning sword and sorcery fantasy.

Review

This tale is a nice coming of age fantasy aimed perfectly towards the young adult market.

So this book follows the five chosen warriors.. why they were chosen we don’t truly know.. was it a mistake or is there more to these five than we might think.

Where this book really ticked the boxes for me was with the writing itself. Too many times I see a plot dumbed down too much.. This one didn’t feel like that. While the plot isn’t too complex it was nice to see it just didn’t follow a straight line.. it jumped from one person’s perspective to another and they each have their own tale rather than just one collective group tale.

The five main characters themselves are pretty interesting  with their own individuality and backstory. I really enjoyed the supporting cast too.. the idea of some people possessing magic and others not, the possible conflict this could force is an idea I really like.

I have to admit I didn’t really make too many note on this one, I was too busy enjoying the tale which is fast paced at times but very enjoyable

David J. Normoyle has left a lot of space for this team to grow and I’d be interested to see how this series plays out

Honest opinion, this book is perfectly written for the young adult. Each of the characters is young  and you can see they have some growing up to do and if the series does well its readers will grow up with them

There’s a little violence, nothing too bad or graphic but it will be interesting to see how this changes if the five get the chance to use their weapons of power more.

Good plot, Good characters and plenty of space for the series to grow means it hits the right spot with me

The book is out today..take a look!

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Darkness Descends by Peter Arvo & Lauren Arvo – Review

Title – Darkness Descends (Elemental Kingdoms #1)
Author – Peter Arvo, Lauren Arvo
Genre –  Fantasy/Young Adult
Length –    317 Pages
My Rating – 3/5 Stars

Synopsis

Once there were many kingdoms of myth and legend, but six stood apart from the rest. They may have lost their origins, but they still possessed their elemental abilities of creation as well as destruction. Their rule was about to be threatened by an unseen group, who have waited patiently to make their move.

A group of powerful royal blooded teenagers are about to experience the time of their lives, but also have their lives turned upside-down. They will have to go beyond what they thought possible, stretching their skills, friendship, courage, love, and powers to the breaking point.

Review

I’m going to level with you, I requested to review this book for a couple reason. Firstly I liked the cover and the plot behind the book, who doesn’t love a bit of fantasy where people have powers. The second reason and also the main reason behind me wanting to review the book is I loved the story behind it.. I loved the fact Lauren came up with the idea and with the help of her father Peter has helped it come to fruition. I always love to see parents support their children.

I loved the story, the idea those with royal blood have elemental powers was a nice idea. I particularly liked the idea each kingdom had their own powers and these powers can be used in different ways or even combined.

The plot itself is pretty straight forward, Hawten sets out on his mission to get help for his kingdom and in the process is meets the teenage members of other royal households who join him. It was a fun read, although something like this wouldn’t happen in real life I did think the authors managed to get the rebellious and adventurous sides of teenagers across nicely.

I have to admit my favourite character was Ahmu and I loved  he had his own section at the end of the tale where his journal entries were listed

The story is a coming of age tale based on fantasy, these young boys and girls are out to find themselves and learn about their powers as well as help Hawten.

My overall impression of the book is that it is well planned out and very interesting to read, the only two things that could be improved for me were the chapter length and the amount of detail thrown in the story.

Some of the chapters were around 50 – 60 minutes in length and I just felt this was a little too long for a YA book.

The flow of the story was good but at times you had a lot of information thrown at you to describe a place or a person. The information was great at helping you visualise but at the same time it did slow the flow of the story and I think the story would have worked just as well with a little info left out

All in all I really enjoyed the book it was fun to read with lots of potential. I’m very much interested in reading the second book to see how the story progresses

If you’re a fan of YA novels then add this  to your TBR pile, I have a good feeling this series will only improve as it goes forward

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Crocodile Legion: A Roman Adventure by S.J.A. Turney – Review

Title – Crocodile Legion: A Roman Adventure
Author – S.J.A. Turney (Author), Dave Slaney (Illustrator)
Genre –  Historical Fiction/Young Adult
Length –   133 Pages
Publication – March 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis 

The prefect of Egypt needs money. And the men of the 22nd Legion must brave mazes and tombs and curses and crocodile gods to get to it.

Marcus and Callie, orphaned in ancient Alexandria and taken in by their uncle, the standard bearer in the legion, are about to travel up the great river Nile with the legionaries in a tense and funny adventure to grab the gold of the Pharaoh Amenemhat.

Join the legion and discover ancient Roman Egypt.

Review

S.J.A Turney is well known to me as a historical fiction writer. After reviewing some of his previous books I couldn’t wait to see how he would write a story aimed at a younger audience.

I couldn’t help but enjoy this tale, it had the historical edge Simon is known for but with the added fun that comes from being written for a young adult.

This story was enjoyable from the start; the young kids give a fun feel to the story as we see it through their eyes rather than the adults.

The storyline itself was great, I won’t spoil it but there’s a brilliant twist that I didn’t see coming

I know myself growing up when I struggled to read, because of my eyesight and through my own laziness that I found pages full of words a bit daunting.. My only comment I would make is that maybe I would have broken down the chapters into smaller chucks within the chapter so when you flick through there are plenty of places to pause..That’s just my preference though.. I can honestly say I loved the book.

The story was well written, everything made sense and I wasn’t left with any burning questions.. Exactly what I want from a book like this.

Added to Turney’s wonderful story telling we have the added Illustrations from Dave Slaney which brought a smile to my face whenever they popped up. More of these please.. they were brilliant!

One of the best things about the book is simply Turney’s writing. He’s managed to write a brilliantly fun story without removing what I know him best for, the descriptive details, the character development.. It’s all still there.. it’s an adult story but just told in a different manner..

Add this one to your TBR piles!

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Indomitable by J. B. Garner – Review

Title – Indomitable (The Push Chronicles Book 1)
Author – J. B. Garner
Genre –  Fantasy/Superhero/YA
Length –  154 pages
Publication – Aug 2014
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Irene Roman never wanted to be a hero. She was a scientist living an otherwise normal life and that was enough. One fateful evening, though, Irene discovers a betrayal that undermines everything. One event that, in a literal blink of an eye, changes not only her life, but the future of the entire planet.

Now the world is inhabited by people with powers and abilities far above those of mortal men and women. The repercussions of superhuman battles on the Earth are great and terrible as lives are shattered, communities destroyed, and mankind’s destiny is plucked from its grasp. At the center of it all is Irene, who not only is one of two people on the planet who knows the cause of this unbelievable change, but is one of the few people who may be able to stop it. The only problem is the only other person who does know will do anything in his vast power to keep the world in its terrible altered state.

Who dares to claim the right to choose humanity’s fate? What price will Irene pay to be the hero she never wanted to be? In the end, will Earth return to the safety of the mundane or will it remain in the chaos of the superhuman and supernatural?

Indomitable is the first book in The Push Chronicles and the debut novel of J.B. Garner. The tale of this altered Earth will continue late in 2014 with Indefatigable.

Review

So this is a little out of my normal reading genre but I do like anything involving superheroes. I’m that guy who has liked every superhero movie made.. even the bad ones..i just love the genre in general.

Was I disappointed in the book? Not in the least.

This is a fast paced ride of good vs evil with a healthy dose of reality in the form of Irene.

I would say the writing style is well suited for YA or any adults like myself who enjoy the superhero genre. The style leaves it very easy to read and you don’t have to concentrate too much.. you can just enjoy the tale

The main character develops well, she turned from what came across to me as a little stuck up to showing her caring side fighting to change the world back to the way it was.

My 4* rating is because of two reasons. Mainly the FBI..they believed Irene’s story and agreed to help too quickly in my eyes. I would have like to see the struggle with not only the bad guys in the story but also the non-pushed..see Irene truly alone.

The other reason was her powers..although a good idea (I won’t spoil that for you) I felt the sequence that played out with her power draining became a little repetitive as they seemed to drain very quickly… but then again that’s due to the pace of the story. None of this took any enjoyment away from the tale

If you are looking for a nice easy and enjoyable read this is perfect. For me being a reviewer sometimes I need to change the style of book I read, refresh my eyes with a book that’s not too heavy going. This book was spot on for me in that respect and was more enjoyable then I first imagined

I’ve high hopes for the next book, I hope to see more detailed battles with the superheroes so you can really get to grips with the world J. B. Garner has created

I’ve got another book from the author on my TBR list so I’m looking forward to that and will most certainly read the others in this series further down the line

I thank the author for the chance to read his work.

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rise of the River-Man: Mutter’s Story by L.S. O’Dea – Review

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Title – Rise of the River-Man: Mutter’s Story (Conguise Chronicles #1)
Author – L.S. O’Dea
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy/Science Fiction
Length –  126 Pages
Publication – Oct 2015
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

In a world where the Almightys rule with absolute power over the other classes, being an unwanted Guard is a death sentence.

A Guard’s life is never easy, but Mutter’s has been particularly hard. An orphan at five, he had to fight for his survival on the streets and then he fought in a ring for an Almighty. Until, he lost. His master didn’t give second chances, so Mutter sits in the Guards’ shelter awaiting execution. His only chance is to be adopted but no one wants a Guard like him: big, strong and ugly.

Then his luck changes when an Almighty arrives at the shelter and gives him a choice: kill or be killed. Mutter chooses to live.

Things are looking up until he’s taken to a laboratory and stuck in a cage but that’s not the worst part. He’s not alone in the lab. There are…things in the other cages. Things that don’t move or smell like anything he’s ever known.

Now, the Almightys are giving him some kind of serum and he feels good, but does he feel too good? Is he changing into something else? Something like the creatures in the other cages? Can he escape before it’s too late?

Review

I was kindly gifted a copy of this book for review and I was presently surprised at the story considering the book is only 100+ pages.

The story was written well with a clear plot which developed at a fast pace. The characters were interesting; I particularly liked Mutter and Ableson. The interaction between these two was fascinating to read.

So the story is based in a time after a great death has hit the planet, lots of people died and those who survived now live under a new social structure.

The language used is perfect for young and old alike with enough detail to develop the characters nicely enough, especially Mutter.

I enjoyed the book, read it one day. It’s a perfect quick read but I have to admit I would have liked to have had more information on this “great death” and why only humans and large humans were affected and how these new social classes were then formed.

I’m not one for spoilers but the main reason for the 4* rating is because of the character Sweet… I’ll try not to give too much away but feel free to skip the next paragraph to avoid any spoilers.

Sweet for me was a great love interest for Mutter but I would have liked to see more development with her. When Mutter starts to change it would have made more sense to me that Sweet would struggle at first with this change.. then love would win out and she would love him no matter what he looked like.

Overall this was a nice book to read, perfect quick read. The book contains a scene which I would class as mild gruesomeness; this gave it some shock factor. The storyline developed quickly and since this appears to be a prequel to the authors Lake of Sins series I’m interested enough to add them to my TBR pile.

I’d definitely say this book is more suited to the younger reader but I’m 30 and I still enjoyed reading it.

To find out more head to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or Goodreads.