Posted in reviews

Stolen Enchantress (Forbidden Forest #1) by Amber Argyle Audiobook Tour

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

A young woman finds herself in a dangerous game of magic, death and possibly love in author Amber Argyle’s YA Fantasy, “Stolen Enchantress”, the first in the Forbidden Forest series.

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The Synopsis

A beast. An enchantress. An unbreakable curse . . .

When her little sister is taken by the beast of the Forbidden Forest, Larkin does the unthinkable: she goes in after her.

Deep within the sentient woods, Larkin uncovers a secret that puts her in dreadful danger. Worse, now that the beast has had his taste, he’ll never stop hunting her. But the forest has woken something inside Larkin; something that gives her the power to fight back.

Magic.

Using forbidden magic will get Larkin hanged. Not using it will leave her at the mercy of the beast’s enchantment. But there’s a third option; one that scares her more than anything.

She could fall in love with the beast.

Fans of A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY and A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES will be spellbound by the fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast and The Pied Piper in Stolen Enchantress. One-click now to find out why readers around the world are getting lost in the Forbidden Forest!

The Review

A powerful, enchanting combination of engaging and entertaining writing with clear, concise, and magical narration, the audiobook of Stolen Enchantress is a welcome delight. The reader is instantly transported into a world that feels part Brothers Grimm, part Mortal Instruments with a mature and dark Disney spin. 

Larkin is a strong and memorable protagonist, who showcases her courage and heart from the book’s early pages as she ventures into the dark forest in search of her sister. A multi-layered world and danger present itself as not only are fans treated to the amazing twist on the Pied Piper story that places him in the role of the Beast but the twists and turns the story take to create a complex and memorable mythos that fans of the series like A Court of Thorns and Roses will find themselves falling deeper and deeper into. While there are some serious topics utilized in the story (abuse being one of them), the author does a good job of layering these topics naturally into the more fantastical aspects of this world.

The Verdict

A must-read and must-listen audiobook, author Amber Argyle’s “Stolen Enchantress” is a memorable and fun YA Fantasy read. With a great balance of emotional storytelling, engaging mythology building, and amazing character relationships both good and bad, fans will not be able to stop listening to this amazing tale. Be sure to grab your copy of this audiobook today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Amber Argyle

Narrator: Lynn Bradford

Length: 14 hour 5 minutes

Series: Forbidden Forest, Book 1

Publisher: Starling Publishing

Released: Nov. 11, 2020

Genre: Romantic Fantasy; YA

Add on Goodreads   Continue reading “Stolen Enchantress (Forbidden Forest #1) by Amber Argyle Audiobook Tour”
Posted in reviews

Scarlet Reign: Call For Independence by R.D. Crist 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 finds herself embroiled in a gritty, magical war and surrounded by a sisterhood she doesn’t know if she can trust in author R.D. Crist’s “Scarlet Reign: Call For independence”, the second in the Scarlet Reign series. 

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The Synopsis

War is brewing amongst the orders, and the Sisterhood has lost its infamous protector to the dark witch. Tough decisions are on the horizon for Natalie, the renowned teen leader who saved the Sisterhood, and is expected by some to do so again. The council, however, bears no respect for Natalie’s opinion in choosing a side, or declaring independence: a state that requires more than she is willing to sacrifice.

Meanwhile, old flames and foes vie for Natalie’s attention as she expresses desires to leave the order altogether. Natalie will need all that she has learned, her natural talents, and more, including new gifts of light bequeathed to her by her mentor. But all will be for naught if she cannot learn to materialize her powers in time. Will she move on from her sisters in what will be seen as an act of betrayal, or will she stay and fight?

The Review

A fantastic sequel to an already amazing fantasy series, this YA adventure takes place a couple of years after the shocking first book in the developing fantasy series. Highlighting the various politics and structural struggles that the Coalition (or group of various witches and covens), has, the story sees protagonist Natalie facing new struggles. 

The first half of the novel takes readers right into the action, as another coven attacks ruthlessly Natalie and her sisters, forcing Natalie to fight to tap into her full power set. The battle leaves Natalie with several losses, revelations, and questions that need answers. Later the sisterhood is forced to compete in a competition of battles in an effort to gain independence from the Coalition altogether, in an effort to avoid all-out war.

The author really does an amazing job of weaving personal character growth for characters like Natalie with a larger overall plot that grows the evolving mythology of this fantasy world. Capturing the tone and imagery that makes the YA genre stand out from other genres, this novel does a great job of setting up future installments in the series.

The Verdict

Action-packed, emotional, and evenly paced, author R.D. Crist’s “Scarlet Reign: Call For Independence” is a must-read YA Fantasy. The protagonist is relatable, the mythology layered and complex, and the book ends on another shocking cliffhanger that will have major implications for the rest of the series. This is a read that is not to be missed, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

R.D. Crist is a psychotherapist who generates creativity via long walks and majestic views of nature. True inspiration to write, however, derives from personal hardships that have sparked a desire to help others manage life’s various struggles.

Although R.D. Crist has only released one book, three have been written and several more begun, which span a variety of genres.  The focus of these stories are intended to center on Crist’s favorite dynamics of a story – personal conflict, relationship development, inner growth, and social revelation.  Each story is created with a greater purpose to stimulate a person to reflect on common challenges, be they personal, interactive, or in principle.

Childhood influences include Ray Bradbury stories and character conflict movies like Twelve Angry Men.

Socializing, listening to people’s stories, spending time with family, and relentlessly exercising (as if those last ten pounds cared) are some of Crist’s favorite ways to pass the day.

Here is the book website: www.scarletreignbooks.com

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Events, reviews

The Halves of Us by Sydney Paige Richardson Audiobook Tour and Review

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

Twin sisters find themselves tied to family secrets and dangerous prophecies as the fate of their world hangs in the balance in author Sydney Paige Richardson’s “The Halves of Us”, the first in the Halves of Us Trilogy. 

The Synopsis

Twin Sisters: one destined to rule, one cursed to destroy.

Some say blood is thicker than water. But for twin sisters, Adie and Aura, their connection runs even deeper than blood.

After investigating a surprise attack carried out by dark souls controlled by the Wicked Willow, an evil  residing in a neighboring region, Aura uncovers a family secret: she is the fulfillment of a curse placed upon her family centuries ago.

While Aura is destined to destroy their planet, Thindoral, Adie is fated to follow in their mother’s footsteps and become Ruler, but even Adie’s path comes with revelations. Dangerous premonitions plague her dreams, all depicting Thindoral’s demise at the hand of her sister.

As darkness takes control of her mind, Aura must determine whether defying fate and time is the choice that will seal her destruction, or if self-sacrifice will save all she holds dear. Meanwhile, Adie is faced with an impossible decision: save her sister, or protect their world?

The Review

A beautifully written and spoken audiobook, author Sydney Paige Richardson has done a marvelous job crafting a YA fantasy world readers will want to immediately dive into. The concept of twin sisters and each having a dangerous journey with a deadly future looming over them both gave readers a strong relationship to hang onto from the get-go. 

Each girl’s journey to discovering their fate and destiny and the decisions they have to make to protect the world around them was a magnificent example of strong character growth. The author develops a powerful and easily-engaging mythology that has become the cornerstone of the YA Fantasy genre. Accompanied by a beautifully narrated audiobook that brought the protagonists to life perfectly, this book has done a marvelous job of drawing readers into the narrative.

The Verdict

A beautifully-written YA Fantasy world filled with action, suspense and dark secrets, author Sydney Paige Richardson’s “The Halves of Us” is a must-read. With a unique two protagonists, emotionally-impactful relationships that grow and change throughout the narrative, and a lovely narration that captures the magic and heart of the book, be sure to grab your copies of this important read today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author: Sydney Paige Richardson

Sydney wrote her first book, Girls, in the second grade, about her and her best friends in college [because college was super cool when you were 8]. They went on treasure hunts and fought bad guys with their super powers. Her second-grade teacher was so impressed with her, she laminated a cover and bound it. That will forever be the moment Sydney dreamed of holding a copy of her own book and placing it on a shelf.

Now all grown up, Sydney’s head still stays in the fantasy world, fashioning worlds where the power of a star can be harnessed and used for time travel, flying is just as easy as walking here on earth – and her best friends are fairies. Her characters are dark and lost individuals, but your love for them will grow when you realize not everything is black and white.

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About the Narrator: Rocky Taylor

Rocky hails from Washington State and frequently haunts the Oregon coast. She holds a BA from The Evergreen State College and has worked as a stagehand since 2008.  After years of bringing stories to life behind the scenes she has transitioned from backstage to behind the mic. An avid reader, traveler, and lover of humanity, she brings all of that to the world of story-telling. 

When not in her studio, she volunteers as a community mediator, loves partner dancing and like all Pacific Northwesterners, lives for beautiful summer days.

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Guest Post by Author Sydney Paige Richardson

  1. Favorite book covers

I almost feel like it’s cliché now to say don’t judge a book by its cover. Because we do. We can’t deny it. The literary world is filled with cover reveals and bookstagram features. Covers are really just an extension of the story – so in my opinion, it’s just as important. 

Example – you’re scrolling through Instagram and see an amazing bookstagram shot. It’s got the cover, surrounded by flickering black candles, bottled herbs, dried flowers, and a skull. The cover is just as creepy with twisted font with crimson light behind it – yeah I am going to stop, admire, like/heart, and read the premise – probably even add to my Goodreads or pre-order. 

What book covers have made me do this? Check out some of them below and let us know which cover lures you in.

This is book two in The Ascent series, and while the cover for book one (Iniquity) was amazing too – this cover was STUNNING. The yellow mixed with the blue, the twisted limbs around her, her hair floating – I am just so intrigued! The story was just as great, dark and keeping me on my toes. You can find book one, here. And you can find Adversity, here

Maybe I am a little biased with this cover, as I know the author and the publishing house but holy crap this cover is amazing. The colors, the chaos – it drew me in and this book did not disappoint. You can find it here

Clare at Sixteen (Clare Bleecker Book 1) by [Don Roff]

I can’t watch scary movies – but I can read the hell out of scary books. *shrugs* And this cover gave me chills, which made me want to snatch it right up. It’s not out until March 2021, but you can pre-order here

Leigh Bardugo is queen. And this cover is everything. Need I say more? 

When I first saw this cover, I knew I wanted it in my hands, on my shelf, and to read every word inside. It’s crazy when a cover does that. And this story – Sugalski’s storytelling ability– it’s everything. You can get it here

This one I purchased recently and is on my to be read stack by my bed. It caught me off guard for a minute – there are just a few colors: blue, white, black (maybe some grey). But the drawing was detailed, yet whimsical. The title seemed vague, but The Mirror Visitor verbiage got me. I have an obsession with mirrors in stories– they fascinate me. And something in me told me to snatch it up. I haven’t read it yet – but the cover remains on my mind. That just goes to show you how covers can catch someone’s eye. 

I don’t think I could have made this list without including Cinder. The cover is so classic to me, but at the same time brings something new to the table. Whoever made this cover is brilliant to merge those two together for this retelling. 

Okay, maybe I am a little biased on this one. But I can’t make this list without it. The Halves of Us is my first novel – and includes my pictures on the cover. I am a fine art photographer (you can see more of my work on Instagram and my website), and I sent these photos off to my publisher, not thinking they would use them for the cover, but maybe for advertisement. But when I got the cover and saw them on there – it was everything. Everything. Shayne at the Parliament House is an amazing book designer and I will forever be grateful she used my photos and created this STUNNING cover. 

I feel like I could’ve added about ten more covers to this – but I think this list covers some of my always favorites, some most recent favorites, and my little book baby, The Halves of Us. Please check out the audiobook – Rocky Taylor did an amazing job bringing Adie and Aura’s story to life. 

Author: Sydney Paige Richardson

Narrator: Rocky Taylor

Length: 11 hours 37 minutes

Series: The Halves of Us Trilogy, Book 1

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Sep. 3, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Continue reading “The Halves of Us by Sydney Paige Richardson Audiobook Tour and Review”
Posted in reviews

Warriors of Potentia (The Shadows) by J.J. Angelus Review

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

A group of young people are all that stands between Earth and an unimaginable threat in author J.J. Angelus’s “Warriors of Potentia (The Shadows)”. 

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The Synopsis

The souls of mankind have always had a fascination with the unknown. Humanity desires nothing more than to unravel the secrets of the Universe in hopes of gaining enlightenment and uncovering the truth. But what if they uncovered something which darkened their perceptions? Something that could wipe out their existence if it was given the opportunity?A supernatural entity descends upon an unsuspecting community carrying a hostile attitude and voracious appetite. The only offset for this cosmic menace is a few young adults who gain mystical abilities from unknown origins. Inexperienced and unaware, the odds are clearly against them as they face a merciless and ever-evolving enemy. An enemy who not only threatens their young adult lives, but also the entire Earth. As the mystery unfolds, your deepest and darkest fears will become reality, and the shadows surrounding your conscience shall come to life. A reality which fuels your imagination and reshapes your mind towards understanding the inner workings of the Cosmos just a little bit better.

The Review

The book hits the ground running, setting the stage for a powerful sci-fi epic YA series that is both emotional and action-fueled. After a deadly accident on a space station launches a lone astronaut back to Earth carrying a dangerous alien threat, the world becomes a target and a few teens find their lives changed forever.

The author does a great job of creating unique mythology that blends sci-fi and fantasy seamlessly. The cast of characters is strong and does well to elevate the story naturally, and readers become invested as the story progresses. The only thing of note would be that sometimes perspective changes between characters occur suddenly without warning, so perhaps in the future, these character perspective changes could occur with some separators between each passage within a chapter. 

The Verdict

A gripping sci-fi tale like no other, author J.J. Angelus has set the stage for a fantastic YA series. Engaging, heartfelt, and incredibly detailed in its mythological approach, Warriors of Potentia is a must-read novel of the summer. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

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Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089XDNMK2

Facebook: https://facebook.com/warriorsofpotentia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53936297-warriors-of-potentia

Author Bio: 

In 2016, J.J. Angel was a part of an anthology called Voices from the Bayou, he loaned his words on several troubling events that year in Louisiana. Specifically, The Great Flood of 2016, the shooting of Alton Sterling, and the deaths of three police officers. His written portion titled, “Still Water Runs Deep” is about an outward conflict clashing with his own inner conflict, both as a flood victim and a misguided African American male.  

 Several years later, he decided to differentiate himself from the book with a new pseudonym, but since he loved his original pen name so much, he simply turned Angel into Angelus which is Latin for angel. The Angel portion of his original pseudonym is a shortened form of his mother’s name Angela.

JJ prefers to write stories focusing on the supernatural, with spiritual awareness intertwined somewhere in the plot. He enjoys educational science books as well.  

Warriors of Potentia is his most developed production, with one completed book and several sequels on the way. The idea of the story originated twenty-five years ago as a way to combat the ongoing verbal and physical torment from peers. Beginning as simple stick-figure drawings, these characters developed, as he developed, and became a greater manifestation of his creativity into what they are today.  

JJ is also working on a few other titles that are not a part of the Potentia franchise. These works will be released sometime in the near future as well.

When he’s not writing, JJ’s outside moving around the downtown capitol; enjoying the great Louisiana cuisine and entertainment, visiting parks and zoos to become closer with the elements of nature, and trying to control his ongoing obsession with Star Trek Deep Space Nine. 

Sisko to Ops!!

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Posted in reviews

Dream Chasers (Screamcatcher #2) by Christy J. Breedlove 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 uses her new experience gained from the first book in a powerful mythological series and delves further into the realm of dream catchers and Native American lore in author Christy J. Breedlove’s “Dream Chasers (Screamcatcher #2)”. 

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The Synopsis

Seventeen year-old Jory Pike knows a thing or two about Indian lore from her half-blood Chippewa ancestry. She can trap, hunt and fish with the best of them. She has a team of three other teens friends called The Badlands Paranormal Society. Instead of bagging groceries or playing on I-pods, they think they can excel at banishing evil spirits. They hope to cleanse houses and earn fat paychecks for their services.

Dream catchers aren’t just the chic hoops tourists buy at novelty shops–they work. And sometimes they clog up with nightmares until they collapse under their own evil weight, imploding and sending the dreamer into an alternate world. Jory uses her worst nightmare to enter the dream catcher world. She’s pulled her teammates in deliberately. Everything goes right on schedule but they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Now Jory and her friends are there, trapped between the people who have confessed their sins to the Great Spirit and are seeking a way out, and the monsters and evil spirits, which are happy to keep them trapped in the web world forever.

They were once considered Seekers in the dream world. Now they’ve become vigilantes and call themselves Pathfinders. Is it spiritual enlightenment they after? Or have they now become fatally reckless?

The Review

An action-packed and deeply mythological sequel, author Christy J. Breedlove has done a fantastic job of connecting to the larger mythology established in the first book and bringing forth a new twist in the evolving story of these characters. The thing that really jumps out is that for returning readers, the story sees a much more educated and experienced protagonist in Jory and her team of investigators, but newcomers will still be able to jump into the series even if they haven’t read the first book yet. 

The speed in which the group of characters is thrust into the world of this possessed dreamcatcher keeps the reader’s hearts pounding in their chests. Unspeakable creatures and beautiful imagery give the reader a deeper connection to the character’s during their journey into this other realm, while the ever-evolving story do a great job of delving into the complex and treasured history and mythology of the Native American people amongst the varying tribes and people. 

The Verdict

A must-read YA fantasy and mythology series, “Dream Chasers” is a brilliant sequel for Christy J. Breedlove’s “Screamcatchers” series. Filled with intense action, deep character growth and an overall sense of adventure, this is a unique read in the YA genre that delves into a mythology that deserves far more storytelling than it typically gets, so be sure to grab your copy of this amazing book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I became a story teller. I’m a diehard frantic creator of Young Adult fiction, whether it’s paranormal, science fiction, suspense or fantasy. I believe in pure escapism with unceasing action adventure and discovery. If you want a moral message or cultural statement, you’re apt to get a small one. But let me tell you something, reader, I want to make you laugh until you gag, cry until you’re dry and tear out tufts of your hair. Today, young adult lit needs a resurrection. How soon we’ve forgotten about Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight. Oh, the mania! Where has it gone? Are we losing our young readers? We need something really fresh and new. I and several writers are going to pour everything we have into that end. You are the kindly judge–help us get there and we will deliver!

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Posted in reviews

The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards Review

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

A family of undertakers from the Weird West must traverse the underworld after long and recently passed neighbors begin rising from the grave, upsetting the balance and their business, in author Lorin Morgan-Richards’ “The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain”. 

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The Synopsis

The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain follows the lives of Weird West undertakers Otis, Pyridine, and their daughter Orphie. Pyridine is a witch and matriarch mortician, Otis is a brainless but bold hearse driver, and Orphie is appointed grave digger for her strength of twenty men. Through bumbling, Otis discovers his neighbors are turning into zombies, a mystery that is directly affecting their burial business. In their backyard cemetery, they travel to the underworld for answers and uncover a plot to surface the evil entities that would otherwise burn in the Lake of Fire, have risen again through oil pumps that are bottled up as a tonic medicine for the ground above. The tonic goes fast, and the host takes over the body when the body perishes. Can the Goodbyes hilarious gaffes and revelations plug up the works? Find out in this fast-paced carriage ride through the underworld. The story includes an exclusive foreword by entertainer and medium Richard-Lael Lillard.

The Review

This is a fun and unique read for YA audiences everywhere. An entertaining blend of the Wild West meets sci-fi and Victorian Goth horror, The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain is a fast-paced read that creates an imaginative and magical world filled with zombies, the underworld and literal magic. 

The author’s ability to fuse this wild and creative mythology within the novel’s world with the humor of the cast of characters, particularly the odd yet fun protagonists the Goodbye Family, make for a unique literary journey. Otis, in particular, will delight audiences as his strange comments will showcase the surrounding character’s bemused and dumbfounded looks in the reader’s minds. 

The Verdict

An entertaining, evenly paced and magical read, author Lorin Morgan-Richards’ novel “The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain” is a must-read for 2020. Action-packed, whimsical yet haunting in its an approach, readers can easily picture the novel adapted into a Tim Burton-like claymation animated film. It’s a delightful read that I highly recommend, so be sure to grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Lorin Morgan-Richards is an author and illustrator, known mostly for his YA fiction. A fan favorite is his daily comic series The Goodbye Family about a family of eccentric undertakers living in the Old Weird West with their daughter Orphie who oversees the town of Nicklesworth as their sheriff. Richards writing career started in 2009, with his latest novel The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain (2020) being his thirteenth release. In addition to writing and illustrating, Richards colorizes Old West and Victorian-era photography.

Official site: https://www.lorinrichards.com

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorinmorganrichards/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lorin-Morgan-Richards/e/B002LTN6KO

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2943244.Lorin_Morgan_Richards

Posted in Book Related Blog Posts

Best Books Of 2019

Hello everyone! This is Author Anthony Avina, and today I am here to share with you all the top reads of 2019 on my website. I’ve reviewed over 160 books this year, and as we close out not only 2019 but the decade, I thought it appropriate as we head into 2020 to look back on 2019 and see what were the top books of the year. So without further adieu, here are my top picks of 2019! 


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Best YA Romance: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio 

A beautiful story from emerging author Christine Riccio about the choices we make in life, and what we would do if we could go back and change things. A story of following your dreams, living the life you want and finding love, and how hard a person is willing to fight to hold onto that dream and that love. 


Best YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Nexus (The Androma Sage #2) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

This exciting concluding chapter to the Androma Saga duology was a whirlwind sci-fi adventure in the YA genre. Authors Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg did a wonderful job closing this story out, creating a universe under the forced rule of a pair of siblings that seek control, but as a young outlaw turned hero seeks to save her makeshift family and stop this threat, the siblings find they are more pawns than true rulers in this quest, and an even greater threat is set to emerge on the galaxy. A must read sci-fi adventure! 


Best Fantasy: The Second Life of Eddie Coyne by Louis K Lowy

A brilliant fantasy driven narrative from author Louis K Lowy, which showcases the downfall of a father and husband and the journey he takes to find the true meaning of life and a life well lived. Finding what matters most in life and holding onto it as the protagonist struggles to find their way back home again, this is a fantastic read for 2019. 


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Best Mystery/Crime: A Shattered Lens: A Detective Preach Everson Novel by Layton Green

If you are looking for a great murder/mystery series to sink your teeth into, then the Detective Preach Everson series is for you. Author Layton Green’s second novel is a masterpiece of the genre, expertly crafting a murder mystery that pushes the protagonist to their limit both professionally and personally. This book serves as both the perfect continuation of the series and a great book for newcomers to enjoy as well.


Best Comic Book/Graphic Novel: Spider-Geddon by Christos Gage

While there were many great comic books in 2019, and many that I still need to read, out of all the comics I read that were published this year, my all time favorite had to be Spider-Geddon. A great sequel to the epic Spider-Verse storyline, the return of the Inheritors and the imminent threat they pose to the Spider-heroes of the Marvel Multiverse make this a thrilling read. Spider-Man is an essential hero to the larger Marvel Universe, and the comic book industry as a whole, and so exploring not only his story but the story of several other spider heroes in the multiverse is always a thrill. Add the terrifying and powerful threat of the Inheritors to the mix, and this storyline makes for a wonderful read. 


Best Contemporary Romance/Fiction: If Only by Melanie Murphy 

One of my all time favorite reads of 2019, Melanie Murphy’s debut fiction novel was a brilliant novel. The characters were engaging, the fantasy element of seeing various lives if the protagonist had made different choices was a great addition to the plot and yet it didn’t overpower the overall theme and romance of the story whatsoever. Its a story many people our age can identify with and the author’s voice and tone in the novel is entertaining, engaging and refreshing to read, making this a must read of 2019. 


Best Dystopian Thriller: A Single Light (The Line Between #2) by Tosca Lee

A great ending to another brilliant duology, author Tosca Lee has created a wonderful dystopian thriller that showcases the continued struggle for survival in the face of a massive breakout. Months after surviving the events of book one, the protagonists must fight for survival in a crumbling society, and as secrets threaten to tear them apart, they must find that which makes life worth living in the face of great danger once more. A must read novel of 2019!


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Best Science Fiction: Hybrid by Rebecca Henry

My all time favorite sci-fi read of 2019, my good friend author Rebecca Henry has created a fantastic story that delves into the best aspects of the sci-fi genre. Secret government operations, powerful aliens who have influenced society, time and space travel and so much more. It’s a sci-fi fans dream read and I highly recommend reading my full review to get a sense of this amazing novel. 


Best YA Historical Fiction: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

If you are a fan of History’s Vikings or the legends of Norse Mythology mixed with historical settings then you will absolutely love Adrienne Young’s “The Girl The Sea Gave Back”. The novel is a sequel of sorts to “Sky in the Deep”, and expertly crafts a story of a young girl considered an outcast her entire life and burdened by knowledge of fate, and a young man striving to make a better life for his people years after the end of a decades long war. Its a great way of continuing the story of the original novel while focusing on new characters and a new period of time in this wonderful world the author has created. 


Best Mystery Crime Thriller: The Sixth Wicked Child (4MK Thriller #3) by J.D. Barker

The exciting final chapter in one of the best crime thrillers of the decade, author J.D. Barker’s “The Sixth Wicked Child” is the brilliant concluding story in the 4MK Trilogy. The shocking game of cat and mouse between the protagonist and 4MK is taken to new heights in this novel, as readers are forced to examine whether or not the series protagonist is the hero they’ve been led to believe, or will he turn out to be the villain all along? A twisted tale that pushes everyone to their limit, this was a phenomenal read and one of the top books of 2019 for me personally.


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Best Nonfiction: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley by Carol Es

Last but certainly not least is author Carol Es’s book “Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley”. A heartbreaking and emotional journey, this non-fiction read was one of the best of 2019, and took readers through the author’s life as well as through the harrowing journey of being caught in the midst of a cult. It’s a gritty and realistic novel that will catch the reader off guard at times, but is well worth the read. Highly recommend! 

Posted in reviews

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young Review

I received this book as part of a giveaway from Goodreads. All opinions are my own. 

A brutal attack on a recovering society forces a young woman to decide where her place in the world truly is in author Adrienne Young’s latest novel, “The Girl The Sea Gave Back”. 

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The Synopsis

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

The Review

What a powerful and unique way to delve further into the action-packed YA world that author Adrienne Young created in her first novel Sky in the Deep. A sort of spin-off/sequel to the first book, this novel showcases new clans as they move forward to secure their own power in a new landscape after the two clans of the first book redefined the power of the mainland. 

Questioning the power of fate and destiny, the author brings to life a new heroine and a new set of clans to further the mythology of the mainland and surrounding areas of this amazing fantasy driven world. Delving further into a mixture of Norse history and mythology, The author also does an amazing job of not only entertaining the reader, but bringing to life the life or death stakes of morality and power struggles that threaten civilization as a whole. 

The Verdict

Action-packed, heart-pounding suspense and creatively driven history and mythology, this book is a fantastic entry into the growing world of author Adrienne Young’s Viking-inspired saga. With amazing character development and world building, this is the perfect read for any YA action/fantasy driven narratives, and this book proves how rich with story this world the author has created is. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of “The Girl The Sea Gave Back” by Adrienne Young today. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author of SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at https://adrienneyoungbooks.com/

Instagram: @adrienneyoungbooks

Twitter: @adriennebooks

Posted in reviews

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young Review

A young woman’s life is turned upside down as the brother she thought lost to her forever returns to the land of the living, fighting alongside her people’s enemy, in author Adrienne Young’s novel “Sky in the Deep”. 

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The Synopsis

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

The Review

This was a powerful and original YA adventure like no other. Bringing to life a fantastic new YA heroine that embodies strength, power and emotion all at once, the series brings a unique blend of history and mythology while creating a cast of characters readers will instantly connect with.

Showcasing a strong message about the power that comes from understanding the differences between cultures and the tragedy that comes from warring over those differences, the novel does a great job of both entertaining and highlighting real world struggles through the use of historical and mythological context. More than anything, the novel does an excellent job of showcasing a strong female protagonist amidst an era of battle that saw men and women taking to the battlefields. 

The Verdict

In a novel that has equal parts entertainment with equal parts historical and mythological content, the first book in a world filled with Viking warriors and ancient gods dictating the laws of the land, the book highlights how underneath all the different gods, ways of life and landscapes that people live on, at the end of the day they are all just human after all. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Sky in the Deep” by Adrienne Young today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author of SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at https://adrienneyoungbooks.com/

Instagram: @adrienneyoungbooks

Twitter: @adriennebooks