Posted in reviews

The Heartless Divine by Varsha Ravi Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The past bleeds into the present as reincarnated lovers bring back a history of tragedy, pain and blood in author Varsha Ravi’s novel “The Heartless Divine”. 


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The Synopsis

In this unexpected twist on mythology inspired by Sangam India, reincarnated lovers find themselves bound together, connected to their past by a centuries old tragedy that only one of them remembers.

In the ruthless martial empire of Naja, Suri is the crown’s unfailing blade. But the princess dreams of a life exploring the lands beyond the borders, unshackled by blood. The king and queen offer her freedom, at a price: marriage to a king she’s meant to kill, and the death of Athri, a kingdom her family once nearly destroyed.

Her only obstacle lies in the mountains above the Athrian capital of Marai, where a young prophet sees a world struck by catastrophe—a world where a girl lies dead in the temple of the fire god, and the city lies burning below.

Centuries later, Suri lives with no recollection of her past lives. Haunted by her family’s deaths eighteen years ago, Suri sees the boy bleeding gold on her doormat as an opportunity to unravel the mystery of the car crash that took their lives. But not all gifts are created equal, and the boy soon proves to be more trouble than he’s worth, a dangerous link back to a world of gods and wishes.


The Review

A well written deep dive into ancient mythology and incredible character development, author Varsha Ravi has created a masterpiece fantasy novel set in the mythology and folktale genre. From the book’s first pages, the author immediately draws the reader in, setting up the mystery of both characters while introducing the air of myth and legend into the narrative. 

The author seamlessly runs the narrative back and forth between the past and the present, between myth and the novel’s reality as readers are given a deep dive into a mythology that is rarely explored in modern day literature. A great story that speaks of love, blood and heartbreak, the novel introduces a great cast of characters that showcases the duality of the protagonists history and their present. 


The Verdict

An evenly paced read filled with action, romance and heavy doses of legends, author Varsha Ravi has created a fantastic modern day fantasy novel that will give fans of mythology a narrative to deep dive into with ease. A wonderful read that keeps the reader engaged throughout every chapter, this is a must read novel of 2019 that readers should grab their copies of now as we head into 2020. Don’t forget to check out Varsha Ravi’s novel “The Heartless Divine” for yourselves now!

Rating: 10/10


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About the Author

Varsha Ravi is a senior at California High School. She was born and raised in Illinois, before moving to North Carolina. She is currently living in the Bay Area, California.

As a kid, she read voraciously, encouraging her to attempt writing her first stories at a young age. Even as she grew older, creative writing continued to be a passion of hers.

The Heartless Divine is her first novel.

www.varsharavi.com

Posted in reviews

Dagger and Scythe The Ichorian Epics Book 2 by Emilie Knight Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two supernatural beings skilled at hunting down and stalking human prey for a god find themselves banding together to take the god’s throne for themselves in author Emilie Knight’s novel “Dagger and Scythe”. 

The Synopsis

Dagger and Scythe spent good decade’s together, stalking human prey at night, and taking out the targets the god Maniodes deems worthy. With one hundred years under her belt, Scythe is comfortable in her ways, and takes incredible enjoyment of her skills. Dagger may be new to the undead order, but he’s relishing in the work. The two of them together set beautiful bonfires, with the occasional corpse inside that fire.

When they enjoy each other’s time a little too much, and an entire village burns down because of it, Maniodes becomes sick of their rogue behavior. Regular punishments haven’t worked on either of them, so he tries something new: marrying them to each other. To keep each other in line or they’ll both end up properly dead.

Both have grown tired of the god’s odd punishments and lazy control, taking over his throne and the land of the dead should fix things.

Her scythe is perfectly curved for slicing.

His dagger, made of folded steel, is ready to strike.

But are they strong enough to take on gods?

The Review

A truly one of a kind, original and gritty dark fantasy novel. That’s the best way I can describe this novel, which took me as a reader on a roller coaster of emotions and thrills as the story followed two monstrous killers and made them into protagonists. The author did a marvelous job of playing with the reader’s feelings towards the characters. A balancing act between being disgusted by the character’s bloodlust and compassion for the circumstances that brought them there, the book takes a deep dive into exploring the minds and souls of Dagger and Scythe. 

What was most interesting was seeing Dagger grasping onto the remains of his humanity, while Scythe fought the memories of her human life that clashed with her growing feelings for Dagger and her growing bloodlust. Combined with the amazing world building that went into the creation of this fantasy driven narrative, and readers are given a rare treat of a story that begins as a mission to take the power of a god and turns into a fight for the souls they once had. 

The Verdict

One of the top Dark Fantasy novels of 2019, this is a book fans will not want to miss. Releasing on October 1st, 2019, this book is filled with action, dark fantasy characters with a tie into Ancient Greek mythology and a pair of protagonists that keep the readers in a balancing act of empathy and fear, challenging the reader to determine for themselves who the true monster of this story really is. With a splash of dark fantasy romance tying these protagonists together, this is a must read fantasy novel like no other, so be sure to pick up your copy of Dagger and Scythe, the second in the Ichorian Epics Series by Emilie Knight, today!

About the Author

Emilie Knight is a writer, and author of her debut Era of Undying. After years of reading fantasy and horror she combines them together into her own dark fantasy writing. Using her BA in Classical Civilizations and fascination in Ancient Greek mythology she blends it well into her fiction. Other then reading in her spare time she plays video games quite often.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45434518-dagger-and-scythe?from_search=true

https://www.emilieknight.com/

https://www.facebook.com/emilieknightwriter/?

eid=ARCHdGNchXsS1RRZlI-HuC-lj4Ebk46zFW90bxV4jA0q7ZbjNaH_IosxGyyTUu1Bu9fZsZd-9WCkOTIt

https://www.instagram.com/emilie_knight_/

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Ben Schneider

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1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

  1. A) I am currently active duty in the Air Force. I have worked for the military 15 years. I am also a cartoonist and a comedian. I discovered many of my jokes work better in literature than they do in cartoons or on stage. In addition, I am a fan of thriller novels, which inspired many ideas in my own stories.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

  1. A) The work of other action/sci-fi authors and films based on such books inspired my novel.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

  1. A) My book has several messages I hope to give readers. If I were to choose just one, it would be: “Life with a bad attitude is far too difficult.”

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

  1. A) Several things drew me to action/sci-fi, especially James Cameron films.

Chrome Flyer 20181026

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

  1. A) I would ask Sonya McCall what she would do if she were the first female president because she is very ethical and tough.

 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

  1. A) Facebook.

 Author Pic2

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

  1. A) Make your characters people you would admire and give them strong motives for everything they do.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

  1. A)Realm Journeyis my first book and is like a cross between Lord of the Rings and Treasure Island. I finished it in 2009, but never tried to get it published. Now that I’ve seen some success with my second novel, Chrome Mountain, I am rewriting Realm Journey with the intend to have it published. Someday, I would like to write a sequel to Chrome Mountain as well as create and publish my 3rd Airman Artless cartoon book.

 

About the Author

 

BIO:  Ben Schneider was born in Oklahoma. In 2003, he earned a B.A. in Graphic Design at Oklahoma University, married his fiancée, and joined the Air Force. Ben and his wife, Suzy, have been stationed in Italy, Okinawa, and Alaska. Aside from writing fiction, Ben’s other interests include drawing cartoons—mainly his Airman Artless comic strips. Chrome Mountain is his debut novel.

To order Chrome Mountain on Kindle or paperback, go here:

https://www.amazon.com/Chrome-Mountain-Ben-Schneider-ebook/dp/B07DMZ86B3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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To see 30+ reviews on Chrome Mountain, go here:

https://www.facebook.com/Chrome-Mountain-281058869320535/

 

Chrome Mountain is also available at the following sites:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40409574-chrome-mountain

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/903483

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chrome-mountain-ben-schneider/1128858008?ean=2940161675625

To message Ben Schneider or see more of his work, go here:

https://airmanartless.com/published-work.html

https://www.facebook.com/ben.schneider.9237

https://www.facebook.com/Quotes-by-Ben-270127620244047/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://www.facebook.com/Airman-Artless-281460331901271/?ref=page_internal

https://twitter.com/pinscratch5

https://www.instagram.com/airmanartless/

https://www.pinterest.com/schneiderben/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlYhC99bDcM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=000QgYUF_20&t=9s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3nWcx0NP4c&t=43s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6_r47K9jN4&t=53s

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Posted in reviews

Northfighters: The View From The Christallis by Colm Dowd Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Worlds collide in author Colm Dowd’s debut YA novel “Northfighters: The View From The Christallis”. The first in what hopes to be a powerful new YA series, a world filled with magic and creatures unlike anything our world has ever seen merges with our own world, and four kids find themselves thrust into a war they never asked for. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

What happens when you start to write a book for your kids to compete with Pokémon but you take so long to write it, it ends up more influenced by Smallville, Lost, Lord of the Rings and The X-Files? (To name a few) You end up with ‘Northfighters – The View from the Chrystallis’.

This is not your typical fantasy book, but it is a fantasy. And it has it all.

Eleven year old Chris Talbot is the likeable protagonist, with his nerdy friend Josh, his bully nemesis Mike, and his heart’s desire Sylvia. All four of them end up avoiding near death on their school trip near Seattle. They are being pursued by ghoulish monsters that have been sent after them by the charismatic yet maniacal super villain Salazon. Salazon ‘The Evil’ as he would prefer to be known has supreme psychic powers and a pretty big chip on his shoulder. He has an elaborate scheme to trigger a massive battle between two of his world’s people that, he just doesn’t want to have around anymore.

Salazon has been given a forewarning that this boy Chris is somehow going to be a thorn in his side. Luckily for Chris and his friends, they are taken through a portal to a strange and beautiful land by the heroic Talbar, a lord of the Northfighter people. Talbar, with three of his fellow men, make it their duty to guide the children on a trek with war and deceit all around them, to try to find the real reason the kids have ended up here.

The spectre of Salazon builds throughout the book, but he is not the only stuff of legend that is to be found in this land. Fables tell of great and powerful beasts, the true Northfighters, namesakes of the people that came after. Do they exist? Salazon and Talbar both believe that they do. And this may be where the children are to come in.

Back in the real world the tough and cynical detective Janet Lansing is perplexed by the mystery surrounding the missing kids. Where this is all going and why is anyone’s guess. But it’s an entertaining ride, come jump on.

The Review

This was a fantastic read. Some of the most original fantasy driven characters and creatures I’ve read in a long time, this novel blends the real world drama of four children disappearing from a school field trip and the police investigation that sparks as a result, to the heroic adventures of a rag tag group of warriors and four children who try to stop all out war between various nations. The mythological scale of the battles and the power of the villain Salazon will keep readers entranced throughout the entire story.

While there were brief areas within the story that held some minor grammatical errors, the overall story and mythology built by the author was so powerful that these moments never deterred from the overall story. The characters were relatable and engaging, while the setting felt like the YA equivalent to Game of Thrones. The blend of fantasy and drama felt natural and helped the story flow smoothly, making this read truly amazing.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this book. Filled with action, character development and shocking twists and turns, readers will love to get lost in this new fantasy world created by author Colm Dowd. With a cliff-hanger ending that leaves room for a hopeful sequel, this is a must read YA adventure like no other. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Northfighters: The View From the Christallis today!

Rating: 9/10

https://www.amazon.com/Northfighters-View-Chrystallis-Colm-Dowd-ebook/dp/B07J1Z5TXM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540436403&sr=1-1&keywords=9781999466602