Book Review, Fairytale, Fantasy, Re-Telling

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.

ARC, Beta Read, Book Review, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal Romance

Water Spell by Lizzy Ford

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

ARC: Kindle Unlimited Version

My Short Summary: 

Sela, a powerful water mage, wants to be free. Free of the overwhelming pull of her magic, demanding she submit to the depths of an ancient ocean. Free of her savage protector, Tieran, who she’s bonded to. And, free of the kingdoms and those who would abuse her powers. If she is to survive, to be free, she and Tieran must learn to trust each other, or risk drowning in her magic and the rage of war.

My Review:

Lizzy Ford’s excitement over this book is palpable, and now I know why. Water Spell is an exciting fantasy adventure full of well-rounded characters. I didn’t want this book to end, and I was giddy to read the titles of the next books to come in this series. You’re going to want to add the beautiful hard-copy to your fantasy collection. Lizzy Ford is one of my favorite authors, and her characters are so memorable

I wasn’t sure I’d like Sela or Tieran, but I anticipated a deeper connection between them from the start. Their external display of tension masks their individual internal desires. Both have a clear goal, which becomes harder to reach as magic bonds them together. By the end, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if their relationship would come together or break apart.
Sela’s need for freedom, to reach the water, made me thirsty. I ached to be in her world, reaching for the seas, the wells, the streams, etc. It made me want to go to the beach! I want to be her, controlling water with magic. This part of the book reminded me so much of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I loved it.
 
For Lizzy ♥ 
My only critique of this book is on the first chapter. As much as Sela’s previous mage-warrior influences her, I wasn’t captivated by his pov as much as hers. For me, the story didn’t start until Tieran took his oath and Karav left. I liked the tension caused when Tieran finds out his new ward is a woman. But, I didn’t feel Karav’s thoughts and worries over Sela aided me in feeling the bond between mage and warrior.
There is a lot of redundant thoughts from Karav on the Inlanders being barbarians. These descriptions and examples through his pov didn’t help develop Tieran. Tieran’s reactions and behavior toward Sela is enough, as well as her reaction to the people in his land. Experiencing this through Sela is more gripping without Karav’s scene set-up.
The world-building and back-story was overwhelming in chapter one, almost info-dumped. This flows well enough throughout the rest of the book through Sela’s pov, though, and I loved the map!
Thanks for letting me review the ARC of Water Spell! I enjoy reading, reviewing and promoting all of your books.
Book Review, Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult

The Waterfall Traveler by S.J.Lem

34468319._UY200_.jpgMy rating: 5/5 stars

ARC version — release date April 17th, 2017 (available for pre-order)

Summary via Amazon:

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.

My Review: 

Engaging YA fantasy with a beautiful cover. This book exceeded my expectations. I was thinking this would be in the younger spectrum of the YA genre, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Ri is driven by emotion, for sure, which means logic sometimes takes a back seat when she makes decisions. This can be a little irritating for some readers, but it’s why I like her character. That’s not to say she isn’t strong, though. She takes charge and makes quick decisions, even if they are impulsive at times.

My only real complaint is of Bryce and Ri’s relationship. It’s a slow build up; almost too slow. I don’t mind love triangles, and the fun humor thrown in from Carter too, but I wanted to see more between Bryce and Ri. Would have loved more conversations, flirt, jokes, or playful bickering. I saw pieces of jealousy here and there, but nothing came of it. Ri relates and responds to every other character well, but something is missing between her and Bryce, so by the end, I wasn’t jumping up and down, cheering for their relationship as much as I hoped. I was actually cheering on Carter, if you can believe it. I felt his frustration, flirt, and protective nature way more than I felt anything emotionally moving from Bryce. And, I LOVED what happens in the end, as it relates to Carter.

I was on the fence about how the story turns in the end, and I’m interested to see where it goes from here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a fun fantasy for all ages, not just YA. Readability is great, with minimal to no errors, and the pace is perfect!

I was asked to read and review this advance copy before the release date.

Book Review, Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Soulmated by Shaila Patel

26928871My rating: 5/5 stars

Beautiful Hard-copy version

Short Summary via amazon: Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan is an Irish, royal empath, is searching for his elusive soulmate when he meets Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family. Liam’s father isn’t convinced Lucky is “The One,” and Lucky’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or, is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?

My Review: 
Beautiful inside and out, I’m so glad I pre-ordered this YA book when it was released. It’s engaging and unique!

Soulmated is an easy read. I loved the chemistry between the characters, and the frustration of teenage romance between the expectations of their parents and their cultural differences.

This is a great choice for YA readers and adult paranormal/fantasy romance readers alike. Do yourself a favor, though, and buy the hard-copy because you’ll want to add this beautiful cover to your library!

Book Review, Fae, Fairy, Fairytale, Fantasy, Time Travel, Uncategorized

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!