The Rise of Ersyla by J.M. Sullivan

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My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary via Goodreads: Before she was the sea witch, Ersyla was a simple girl with an unfortunate secret.

It wasn’t her fault magick was a part of her, or that the King’s heartache turned the world against her. Struggling to understand how she could be put to death just for living, Ersyla must learn who to trust before her dark secret turns her heart even darker.

My Review: This gripping, emotional short is a new spin on a classic favorite. It gives a glimpse into Ersyla’s past, the beginning of her magic, and the unfortunate events leading up to her turn from witchling to the dark sea-witch we know her to be.

Sullivan stuck true to the underlying darkness in the heart of Ersyla’s character, which is what drew and hooked me in. There are moments of childish wickedness, defiance, jealousy, and envy Ersyla feels toward her friend, Bryony, and her familiy. These relatable emotions helped build to the inevitable hate, distrust, and revenge Ersyla feels by the end of the story. It also encourages the reader to sympathize with Ersyla as she struggles to overcome the poor, unfortunate outcome of her actions.

As always, Sullivan’s writing style, pace, tone, and the tension throughout the story kept me glued to my kindle screen. I’m so glad she’s decided to continue writing re-tellings. After reading Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles, I was anxious to get my hands on more of her work. I wasn’t disappointed!

I read and reviewed this book for my own enjoyment.

 

 

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary: A retelling of how Peter’s favorite and first lost boy became his enemy, Hook. 

My Review: I read this book in a day. I couldn’t put it down. The pacing and excitement of Neverland mischief and battles doesn’t slow down. 

Getting into Jamie’s head, seeing his compassion for the boys Peter doesn’t care about, and feeling his anger over Peter’s betrayal was emotionally provoking. I was cheering on Jamie the whole time, routing for Peter to fail. 

The story is dark, like Barrie’s original Peter Pan, since it leads up to Pan and Hook’s rivalry. If you didn’t like Peter’s character in the original, you probably won’t like him in this book. Though, I have to say, I enjoyed this story ten times more than I did the original. If you’re like me, and Hook is your favorite character of the two and you like the dark twist of Peter Pan, then this is the perfect book for you! 

Overall, this is one of my new favorites I’m adding to my bookshelf. I bought the paperback from Amazon for my own enjoyment. 

Of Cinder and Madness by Nicole Zoltack

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Kindle Version. 

Short Summary: A dark Cinderella re-telling. Finding her happily-ever-after and falling in love prove difficult for Angelique when her stepdaughter, Eleanore, threatens her life and the lives of her two daughters with dark magic.

My Review: Exciting dark twist to a normally happy story, this book kept me glued to the page from start to finish. Its fast pace makes it a quick read. There wasn’t one time where the narrative slowed or interrupted me. The backstory, the time jumping from past to present and the dialogue were well written and well executed.

This might be one of my new favorite Cinderella stories. I didn’t want it to end, and look forward to reading more from Nicole Zoltack.

I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles

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My Rating: 5/5 Heart

Kindle Verified Purchase

Short Summary: An Alice in Wonderland re-telling. Hoping she isn’t too late, Alice fights her way through deadly momerath territory to find a cure for her sister, who’s infected with the dreaded virus.

My Review: 

I love this cover so much and every page in between. I’m so excited I own the hard copy too. 
♥ A new spin on a classic favorite. Even better, it’s a zombie tale. “Momeraths,” so clever!
 Writing style, pacing, action, and tension kept me entertained and hooked.
♥ Other than the occasional lengthy dialogue from Abbott and Hatta, there were little-to-no interruptions in the pace of the story from start to finish.
 I love Alice, and Chess is my favorite character. He’s flighty, but for good reason. I’m looking forward to seeing how his character’s strengths and weaknesses help or hinder Alice in the next book. Alice is a strong character, who isn’t easily deterred from her mission to find the cure, even when the Red Queen double crosses her. 

Overall, I recommend this to re-telling and zombie lovers alike. It was a fun, fast paced, easy read with some clever references to the classic tale of Alice woven in. Five Red Hearts from me! Looking forward to Sullivan’s re-telling of Peter Pan next!

 

 

 

The Phantom of Faerie Mountain by E.M. McIntyre

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Audio Version

Summary via Amazon: A telepathic dog. An ancient prophecy. Two devious faeries. 14 yr old Abby Fletcher must unravel their connection when she is thrown into a world of unknowns after receiving a mysterious message from a frightening beast: The Red King must set me free. Determined to discover the meaning of this puzzling phrase, Abby sets off to explore a nearby Scottish mountainside in search of clues…

My Review: 

Someone posted that this was the YA version of Outlander, and I kind of have to agree with this statement. Fun, magical tale set in the Scottish mountainside, which I love. Great pace to it, and the narrator of the audio version is fantastic. There was never a dull moment.

I admit, I don’t read YA often, if ever, but this was fun. I requested a copy of this from the author on a Facebook author’s group since I’m always looking for audios to review. Thanks for your suggestion, and thanks for the exciting story!