Carousel by Jennifer Renson Book Review

Special Note: This book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

A young man returns to the home he never knew he had, and a young woman searches for purpose and adventure. Both come together and discover
things about themselves neither one knew in author Jennifer Renson’s book Carousel. Here is the synopsis:

After living in the countryside for years, Princio returns to his homeland, the tiny yet prosperous Kingdom of Lucca, upon the orders of his
dying grandfather. Living alone in the annexed building next to the palace, Princio is discovered by the kingdom’s chief doll maker, Feletti,
who purposely withholds his knowledge of Princio’s past in order to gain his trust and friendship. Princio believes Feletti to be a true friend
until he meets Marian, a girl with a penchant for cooking and a natural curiosity, and their chance meeting in the kingdom’s carousel sets off
a series of events with the potential to change everything. As Princio, Marian, and Feletti’s dark secrets begin to unfurl, their lives slowly
come to light – as love hangs delicately in the balance…

This story is a short and fast read, but still makes an impact with it’s strong character development and a mythology and setting that holds
endless possibilities. Written like a classic fable, this story artfully explores themes of society’s view of beauty, control over one’s
destiny and the power of friendship in just 88 pages. This YA Fantasy adventure is a whirlwind adventure, and brings to mind tales of faraway
Kingdoms like Camelot while still maintaining a connection to the real world.

Overall, this is a fantastic short read that is one of the strongest short YA fictions I’ve read this year, and a strong example of how a story
isn’t defined by page length, but by the strength of it’s characters and setting. This modern day fairy tale is a phenomenal read that is not
to be missed, so be sure to pick up your copy of Jennifer Renson’s “Carousel” today!

10/10 stars!

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Red Death by Jeff Altabef Book Review

Fantasy and Dystopian genres blend together beautifully in author Jeff Altabef’s novel, Red Death. Exploring the impact of religion on various
groups of people and the dangers of how it dictates their lives, Red Death delves into the lives of several young people throughout this
deadly world, with various tribes and Kingdoms conflicting with one another and the mysteries of this world waiting to be unlocked by one
courageous hero. Here is the synopsis:

Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient
sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close. They must
keep Eden a secret if they are to survive.

Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained and dedicated Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother discovers a cure to
the plague, her world is turned upside down. The discovery is a miracle, yet miracles are dangerous in Eden.

The corrupt, all-powerful High Priest brands Aaliss and her brother Wilky as traitors, forcing them to run. They seek refuge in the last
place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden, and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval
world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders who are only a few years older than her.

Aaliss yearns to return home to Eden, but she must protect Wilky at all costs. And when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the
Soulless, she questions everything she once believed, everything the Priests had taught her about those who live outside Eden—they are
forever cursed, savage, soulless.

Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens
to tear apart the Soulless world? Or… might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?

This was an incredibly well written novel. The dark dystopian world is so vividly described that you can visualize the characters in your
mind. The action and plot of this incredible book took this reader on a roller coaster of emotions and created a world that can easily
pass for a dystopian version of our own. The themes of this novel have never been more true than in this day and age, from the dark side of
power in religion, to the judgement we often have for anyone who isn’t a part of our own culture, to the true meaning of family and how
a person can find family in the most unlikely of places.

It was refreshing to see the gender roles reversed from the “traditional” book styles, where a man is the hardened warrior and the female
needs rescuing or needs to be taught how to fight. Aaliss is a seasoned warrior, and the male lead of this novel that fans will meet must
seek her help for a quest, and must use her skills in order to learn and survive. It shows a welcome trend of strong female characters that
may be flawed but still become the epic hero of the story and prove that they don’t need a man to save them. It helps to break down the
gender stereotypes of our world and showcases that a person’s gender doesn’t define a hero, but rather their actions.

This is a beautifully dark world that has been created by Jeff Altabef, and is a promising first novel in a brand new series. This new world
promises to bring deadly threats to Aaliss and the rest of the people she befriends in this novel, and shows that the world she knows is
going to change drastically. Filled with twists and turns, characters we love and characters we love to hate, this is a fantastic read that
every dystopian and Fantasy reader must check out, so make sure you pick up your copies of Red Death today!

10/10 Stars

Satan’s Beckoning by Michael K. Foster Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

The never-ending work of DCI Mason and David Carlisle continues in the explosive sequel to Michael K. Foster’s The Wharf Butcher, titled “Satan’s
Beckoning”. Filled with an even darker murder plot and shifting perspectives that keep the action and investigation of the plot moving forward
at an even pace, this was a fantastic sequel that builds upon the success of the first book and takes giant strides forward.

The Synopsis: The DCI Mason & David Carlisle Series: Book 2

When a fatal road crash turns out to be murder, JACK MASON is sent to investigate. Within the seemingly dark vaults of the police missing persons
files, lay untold dangers. Young women are easy pickings for a serial killer who believes God has sent him to rid the world of an overindulgent
appetite for greed. When criminal profiler DAVID CARLISLE is drafted in to assist, Carlisle is met by the killers wrath.

Delving into an even darker mind that uses religion to fuel his anger and devilish desires, this killer does something different that The Wharf
Butcher did: he gets into David Carlisle’s mind. The cat and mouse game the two play while the police hunt for the killer is mesmerizing to read,
and the mystery behind the killer’s identity will take the investigation into many different directions. Getting to see the investigation from
so many different views, from the bullish, physical take no prisoners approach of DCI Jack Mason to the analytical, psychological approach of
David Carlisle to the demented mind of the killer as he stalks his prey makes this a fantastic thriller that no one wants to miss out on.

Overall, this was a phenomenal read and actually manages to build upon the success of The Wharf Butcher with an even more thrilling and action
packed story that will lead readers into a climatic battle of wits between the killer and the investigators. Being a US blogger, I really enjoy
these books because it’s great to see the different approach to police investigations that this UK-based novel takes, and the setting plays a
huge part of the plot. The characters are well developed and given more insight after the first book, and this plot makes this one of my favorite
thrillers of 2016. Be sure to pick up your copies of Satan’s Beckoning by Michael K. Foster on October 20th, 2016!

Rating: 10/10

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas Book Review:

Political intrigue, fantasy based action and a complex protagonist are the cornerstone of the bestselling novel, Throne of Glass, the first in the
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass. The intricate world building that went into this first novel and the deeply layered mythology of the
book really pulled me into this fantastic world. Here is the book synopsis:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before
the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal
assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats
her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training
sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more
interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a
victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

I really enjoyed the character development of Celaena Sardothien in this story. Rather than being just a one-dimensional assassin for hire, this
story showcased the person underneath the hardened killer persona that this world has come to know. Getting to see the assassin that was trained
for years struggle with the young woman filled with doubt, with emotion and with human compassion was a treat to behold, and a lot of YA fans
will enjoy this character growth as well.

The pace of this novel was evenly done, and the incredible climax to the competition Celaena finds herself in will delight and shock readers. In
the end, this is a perfect start to an incredible YA Fantasy series, and it’s one I cannot wait to dive more into with the rest of the series.
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend giving this book a read and diving into the Throne of Glass series by the amazing Sarah J. Maas.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

What are your thoughts on Throne of Glass? Leave your comments down below and let me know!