The Second Life of Eddie Coyne by Louis K. Lowy Review

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

A man lost to his gambling addiction finds himself making the ultimate bet when his very soul is on the line in author Louis K. Lowy’s latest book, “The Second Life of Eddie Coyne”. 

The Synopsis

A dying gambler takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize—a chance to save his soul.

Eddie Coyne loves playing the horses. Loves it so much it’s ruining his relationship with his wife and six-year-old son. In a last ditch effort to prove he’s not a loser in their eyes, Eddie places a seemingly impossible bet on a long shot and hits pay dirt.

But before he can cash in and make amends with his family, he’s attacked and left for dead by a greedy hoodlum looking to cash in on Eddie’s winnings. Dying, Eddie wakes up in the presence of the Jesses, a monolithic group of six whose job it is to decide who enters heaven and who enters hell. The Jesses tell Eddie he’s stuck in the middle—not good enough for heaven, not bad enough for hell. They entice him to go in on one final bet to break the dead heat. 

If he triumphs, they stamp his ticket to paradise. If he loses, he spends eternity in the netherworld. The bet? Eddie must prevent someone chosen by the Jesses from taking their own life. Thinking it will be a piece of cake, Eddie agrees. He quickly learns the Jesses are more cunning than he’d imagined.

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The Review

This is a truly fun, unexpected and masterful jump into the fantasy world that readers will thoroughly enjoy. This adult narrative holds no punches, showing the highs and lows of a man who loves his family but took life for granted, and bet one too many times. From the moment Eddie finds himself making one final bet with a heavenly body of judges known as the Jesses, readers are taken on a whirlwind adventure through time and history as Eddie is given chance after chance to save the life of someone who has given up on life, and must show them why life is worth living. 

The story is compelling and emotional throughout, giving equal glimpses of humor, wit and shocking twists that readers won’t expect. A book that delves into the concept of not only life and death, but realizing what is truly important in one’s life, readers will be impressed by how the author has balanced the fantasy elements of the story with personal character reflections between Eddie and the secondary characters. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel to be sure. One of the top fantasy books of the year that holds a sense of realism to the tone novel, the author has done a fantastic job of bringing the story of life and it’s many wonders to light in a fresh and unique way. Elements of time travel, history and action fuse intimately with the emotional pull of Eddie both as a character and an unlikely hero in this tale, making it a one of a kind read to be sure. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of “The Second Life of Eddie Coyne” by Louis K. Lowy May 28th, 2019!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Louis’ latest novel, the urban fantasy, THE SECOND LIFE OF EDDIE COYNE is the story of a dying gambler who takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize—a chance to save his soul. The release date is May 27, 2019. (IFWG Publishing)

TO DREAM, book one of his science fiction epic, ANATOMY OF A HUMACHINE (IFWG Publishing), was released in 2017.

Louis K. Lowy’s first published novel, DIE LAUGHING (IFWG Publishing 2011), is a humorously dark science fiction adventure set in the 1950s.

His 2015 novel, PEDAL (Rereleased in 2017 by IFWG Publishing), tells the story of a 49-yr-old music teacher who loses her job and struggles to reclaim her life through bicycle racing.

Louis’ short stories have appeared in, among others, New Plains Review, The MacGuffin Magazine, the anthology Everything is Broken, and the Chaffey Review.

A former firefighter, he is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and an alumnus of Florida International University’s creative writing program.

His website is www.louisklowy.com. In addition to Goodreads, he is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

https://louisklowy.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001621851402

https://tinyurl.com/IFWG-Lowy

https://ifwgpublishing.com/

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Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel Review

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”.

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

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Humanity has always wanted to understand the inner soul of the cosmic web we call the Universe. They fulfill their curiosity with exploration hoping for eternal enlightenment, but what if something darkened their views? Something that could wipe out the entire Earth if given the opportunity?

Tales of Potentia: the Shadows, is the first rush in a thrilling and nail-biting supernatural fantasy series that entertains your curiosity and teases your imagination with an endless war between the Universe and the Absence of Light.

When a cosmic entity unleashes on an unsuspecting community, it carries an insatiable hunger and a hostile attitude with it.

The only resolve against this threat lies within the hands of a few teens, who gain mysterious supernatural abilities from a mysterious crystal not of this Earth. However, everything is not as it seems and if they don’t find out how to use Potentia correctly they will find themselves next on the menu.

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The Review

This was a fun new sci-fi/fantasy novel that began an intriguing new mythology that will hopefully expand further into a series. The book immediately jumps into the action and mystery of the deadly new threat, slowly building up to a story of monstrous and bloodthirsty creatures, a lone survivor looking to stop the threat forever, government agencies and innocent teens whose lives are changed forever by the discovery of powerful energies that merge with them unexpectedly.

The story was evenly paced, and did a marvelous job of presenting characters that were relatable and easy to cheer for. While there were a few instances of grammatical and misplaced word mistakes, the story overall was powerful and the author does a marvelous job of setting up this intricately detailed new galactic mythology without giving away too many details early on. By book’s end the stage is set for an expanding series, teasing growing threats and the power these teens have to face the coming darkness. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy driven narratives. Especially geared towards a YA audience, both YA and Adult audiences will enjoy the chilling tale of monsters and aliens that descends on the world, and the few people who will find their lives changed forever. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

J.J. Angel, also know by his other pseudonym J.J. Angelus, is an energetic, humorous, but equally focused creative author who enjoys immersing his ideas and creating imaginary worlds within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and some horror. He is a former Entertainment Tech Film Major of Baton Rouge Community College and a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for his contribution towards the anthology, “Voices from the Bayou”, with emotional and thought provoking narrative, “Still Water Runs Deep”. 

When he isn’t writing, JJ enjoys creature features, evening walks by the river, poetry, volunteering, and digital art and animation.

Website:  https://www.talesofpotentia.com

Twitter: @powerthenovel

Facebook: Facebook profile

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/animated_author/

The Mark of Fallen Flame by Brittany Matsen Review

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

A young woman struggling to plant roots in Seattle after a lifetime of moving around discovers a terrifying power within herself, a world of secrets her mother has hidden from her and a deadly war she is forced into in author Brittany Matsen’s novel The Mark of Fallen Flame. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Emma:

A seventeen-year-old girl just trying to find a place in an unsteady world. With her mother moving them around her entire life, no one has been permanent.

When senior year begins, Emma is determined to sink some roots into Seattle and finally start living life. Especially when she discovers she has the power to kill terrifying monsters with a single touch. Suddenly, a whole new world explodes around her.

The new boy in school that is mysteriously in every one of her classes is too beautiful to be human. Her best friend is acting strange, and her mother’s lies may finally be too many to contain. The protectors of the human race–the Giborim–are more than a little eager to use Emma’s power in the war that’s coming. But her allegiance may be forced in order to save everyone she loves.

Levaroth:

Shediem. General of Sheol. Servant and confidant to Asmodeus, Prince of Wrath.

“Spying the wild, auburn beauty with eyes like emeralds for the first time, I don’t know what comes over me. I have to get closer. She smells of sunshine and purity. You may not think that’s something you can smell, but you can. It’s rarely untainted, but with her…She can’t help but care about everyone she meets, and I need to know why. So I watch her, learn about her. But something is changing in me. Shediem do not feel emotions, we taste them. We devour them. Yet my kills are less satisfying and all I can think about is her face. Her disgust. But she can’t be pure if she’s to be mine. And I will have her.”

The Review 

This was a powerful fantasy driven narrative that did a marvelous job of creating a new mythology that readers will instantly be enthralled by. Powerful and creepy creatures blended perfectly with relatable and interesting characters to drive the novel forward at a reasonable pace.

The thing I love about this book besides the unique mythology created by the author was how the book didn’t waste anytime jumping into the action of the plot. From the first 20 pages or so the author takes readers head first into this fantasy and partly horror driven narrative and doesn’t hold any punches, establishing the dangers and the stakes early on. 

The Verdict 

This is a must read fantasy book that readers will instantly fall in love with. Full of engaging characters, a gripping love triangle and a great story, this is one book you don’t want to miss. Be sure to preorder your copy today or grab your copy on May 31st, 2019! 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

I’m an American by birth but a Kiwi at heart, living in the wondrous New Zealand with my husband. Writing has been a passion since I was very young. In middle school I had articles published in the local newspaper, and the school paper in high school. I attended the Institute of Children’s Literature with the hope of one day creating stories for the world.

When I’m not dreaming up monsters or tortured heroes you can find me hiking somewhere lush and green.

Check out my Patreon page and follow me on Instagram! https://www.patreon.com/bmmatsen

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https://www.brittanymatsen.com/

Heritage (Imagine #3) by Jenna Greene Review

The dangerous new world created by the Coalition puts the Elementals to the test in author Jenna Greene’s latest novel, Heritage, book three in the Imagine series.

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

The dangerous new world created by the Coalition puts the Elementals to the test in author Jenna Greene’s latest novel, Heritage, book three in the Imagine series. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

As Becky tries to adjust to life back on Earth, in Oren, Prince Eston suffers under the deadly effects of broxide poisoning. 

While Cristox Savu joins with an unlikely friend as he attempts to save his people from extinction, Leda and Jamee, two of the three Naturals, those born with magic, struggle to defend the sanctuary of the Painter’s Valley. 

And, even as they finally face the feelings they have for each other, Kat and Ino must evade the Coalition’s clutches as they journey to discover what is affecting magic across Oren–before it is too late and magic, and an even deadlier enemy, destroys Oren and everyone Kat cares about.

The Review

All I can say is…wow. As a reader and fan of this growing series, I am more than blown away by the world building, character driven and emotionally charged story told by author Jenna Greene. This third novel in the Imagine series takes readers to new heights as we not only explore the Elementals fighting to survive in a world where their natural born gift for magic is outlawed as criminal behavior. Hunted and hated, the heroes must find a way to combat not only this powerful new organization, but the hatred and fear being stoked within the citizens of the kingdom of Areth. 

The author finds new and exciting ways to build upon the Oren mythology, including seeing how the magical realm has affected our own world. Seeing Becky’s journey struggling with the loss of her time on Oren and trying to find out what happened to her during all those weeks she was missing, it was great to see this young and powerful character continue to add to the overall narrative. Seeing the beginning of Kat and Ino’s relationship growing into something more than friends was a nice added development throughout this dramatic storyline, and readers will not believe their eyes when the book’s climax reveals the shadowy villain working behind the scenes of the Coalition.

The Verdict

This is a fantastic addition to this massively growing fantasy series by author Jenna Greene. A twist ending that leaves the possibility for more and more books in the franchise, the Imagine series continues to share the powerful world building techniques of the fantasy genre in new and unique ways. If you love YA fantasy as much as I do, then be sure to grab Heritage (Imagine #3) by Jenna Greene today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

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Jenna Greene is the author of the acclaimed Young Adult   Fantasy series, Imagine!  She is a middle school teacher, dragonboat coach, enthusiastic dancer, and semi-professional napper. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband (Scott), daughter (Olivia), and dog (Thor, dog of thunder). 

http://www.jennagreene.ca/

Reality (Imagine #2) by Jenna Greene Review

The world of Oren faces a new danger as anti-magic rhetoric and a mission to return a friend home make Kat Bowers and the other Elementals lives more in peril than ever before in author Jenna Greene’s Reality, book number 2 in the Imagine series.

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

The world of Oren faces a new danger as anti-magic rhetoric and a mission to return a friend home make Kat Bowers and the other Elementals lives more in peril than ever before in author Jenna Greene’s Reality, book number 2 in the Imagine series. Here is a synopsis.

The Synopsis

The three young Elementals discover they no longer have full control over their magic, a fact that is both unsettling and could put lives in peril. As a new group, known as the Coalition, rises in power, anti- magic sentiment spreads rom the small village of Sorc all the way to the kingdom of Areth. Amidst all this turmoil, Kat decides to undertake a new quest, one that will affect Becky’s future. Venturing into territory more hazardous than any they’ve seen before, both girls strive toward a goal they know has little hope of success.

The Review

The overlaying threat of this anti-magic group really helped elevate the dangers the heroes face in Oren. With their newfound powers essentially malfunctioning and separated by two very different missions, the Elementals must navigate the dangerous new world being created by the Coalition. 

It was fascinating and engaging as a reader to see the underlying theme of persecution and hatred based on fear arising within the novel. During these tumultuous times, it was a great way to integrate serious discussions into a fantasy driven narrative. Seeing the characters deal with that new reality, all the while going about their separate missions was a fantastic way to develop the characters even more. 

The Verdict

This was a great sequel to an already great developing series. Taking the magic of the first novel and increasing the drama and dangers of this new world, the author gave not only protagonists Kat and Becky new challenges, but gave special insight from supporting characters like Easton and the other elementals. If you enjoyed the first novel or are looking for a fun new fantasy series to dive into, then pick up your copy of Reality (Imagine #2) by Jenna Greene today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jenna Greene is the author of the acclaimed Young Adult   Fantasy series, Imagine!  She is a middle school teacher, dragonboat coach, enthusiastic dancer, and semi-professional napper. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband (Scott), daughter (Olivia), and dog (Thor, dog of thunder). 

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http://www.jennagreene.ca/

Imagine by Jenna Greene Review

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

Author Jenna Greene brings a dangerous, exhilarating and emotional fantasy to life in the novel Imagine, the first of the Imagine series. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

A fierce wind and a blast of green light during a strange storm causes everything to change for Katharine Bowers and Becky Thatcher. The girls wake up in Oren, an entirely different realm than their earthly city. They meet Enalie, a fading magical presence who sets an incredible destiny before them… then simply disappears. Left alone to fend off creatures that hunt them in the night, they must relay a magical heritage that doesn’t make sense, and – if possible – save a world that they know nothing about.

The Review

This book took the fantasy genre to a whole new level. A brilliant YA style fantasy novel that wasn’t afraid to delve into the brutal nature of magic and fantasy style storytelling. With an entire cast of memorable characters, the author did a fantastic job of bringing two strong, young and driven female protagonists to life. 

The world building was phenomenal in this first book of the series. Exploring the fictional world of Oren and all of the provinces within it was great to see, as was the political nature of various kingdoms and different species living throughout the world. The story of young women discovering the power within themselves and overcoming oppressive and tyrannical forces was the inspirational fantasy story everyone has been waiting for, making Jenna Greene the next great name in the fantasy genre.

The Verdict

This is a must read novel. Full of action, suspense and cinematic level storytelling, Imagine is a wonderful introduction to the world of Oren and heroes like Kat and Becky. If you enjoy a good fantasy novel with strong female lead characters and a large dose of magic, then Imagine by author Jenna Greene is the book for you. Grab your copy today!

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Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jenna Greene is the author of the acclaimed Young Adult   Fantasy series, Imagine!  She is a middle school teacher, dragonboat coach, enthusiastic dancer, and semi-professional napper. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband (Scott), daughter (Olivia), and dog (Thor, dog of thunder). 

http://www.jennagreene.ca/

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Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2) by Kitty Lewis Review

It’s time to return to the epic fantasy world filled with magic, gods and goddesses, and one young woman seeking revenge for her brother’s demise in author Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2).

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

It’s time to return to the epic fantasy world filled with magic, gods and goddesses, and one young woman seeking revenge for her brother’s demise in author Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2). Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

The old priests have fallen, the Demons are no more, but Kandrina has yet to find out what really killed her brother. Her need for revenge takes her and her former teacher on a perilous journey into uncharted territory. They must travel north, into the lands of the fearsome lizard men known as the Li Buqu. Meanwhile, the tribal lands are under attack from predators, and rising internal conflicts between the Vice-Chiefs threaten to disrupt the People’s way of life. 

The Review

After conquering the corrupt high priests and setting the record straight about the Colourless, the hero Kandrina returns to find the monster responsible for her brother’s death. In her journey she discovers a fearsome and powerful race of beings known as the Li Buqu. There she learns just how large her world is, and must prevent an all out war that threatens to tear the world apart.

The author does a marvelous job of building upon the foundation laid in the first book. Moving on from the corruption of a twisted man’s take on religion, the story instead focuses to mirror mankind’s tendency to invade lands they feel belong to them, even when someone else or something else is already living there. The mythology expands greatly as we meet this new civilization, and the character growth of Kandrina especially in this story is so engaging that it keeps readers invested in the story, something not every author can accomplish with a book’s sequel.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. It’s the perfect sequel to the original book and continues to expand upon a world that is ripe for a full blown series. It captures the fantasy element in a very creative way and explores mythology in a comprehensive way that allows readers to get into it themselves. Be sure to grab your copy of Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills” today!

Rating: 10/10

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https://www.kittylewisfantasy.net/

https://www.facebook.com/KittyLewisAuthor/

 

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