Fireborn by Aisling Fowler

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Fireborn

Author: Aisling Fowler

Book Series: Fireborn Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: children’s books, middle grade, fantasy

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 12+ (violence, slight gore, some scary moments, monsters, grief, kidnapping TW)

Explanation of CWs:

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 384

Synopsis: Lyra. Lucy. Percy. Once in a generation, a hero emerges whose story enthralls readers worldwide.

Ember is full of monsters. Twelve gave up her name and identity to train in the art of hunting them–so she says. The truth is much more deadly: she trains to take revenge on those who took her family from her. But when Twelve’s new home is attacked, she’ll find herself on an unexpected journey, where her hidden past is inescapably intertwined with her destiny–and the very fate of her world.

Review: I absolutely loved this book! It was so much fun and I had a lot of fun reading it. The characters were well developed. The world building was amazing. I loved the characters and I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

The only issue I had with the book is that the beginning is a little slow and the main character isn’t that likeable for a little bit, but I think this character will speak well to a lot of younger kids who suffer from trauma and anger.

Verdict: It was amazingly well done!

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Lighthouse Witches

Author: C.J. Cooke

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended For…: fantasy, paranormal, horror, thriller

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

Genre: Paranormal Horror

Recommended Age: 16+ (death, violence, gore, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, grief, trauma)

Explanation of CWs: There is a lot of mention of death, violence, and there is some gore. Sexual abuse scene. Abuse in both physical and emotional. There is also grief and some trauma shown.

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 367

Synopsis: When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it’s an opportunity to start over with her three daughters–Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she’s frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.

Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she’s initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers–except she’s still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she’ll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn’t realize just how much the truth will change her.

Review: Overall, I liked the story to an extent. It was well plotted and it was an interesting story. I also enjoyed the world building.

However, the book is almost excruciatingly slow and it’s hard to stay into the book. Mid-way through the book I had to stop and read another book because it was still very slow, but I was determined to finish the read. It was a bittersweet ending, one that I saw coming a bit. The characters, while developed, are also hard to connect with. There was also some oddball moments in the book, like with the 2021 numbers where everyone was wondering if they were a mysterious number. It was just a very odd and slow book.

Verdict:

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Daughter of the Deep

Author: Rick Riordan

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Bundeli Indian MC, Autistic character, Portuguese character, Black Mormon character

Recommended For…: children’s books, middle grade, fantasy, retelling, science fiction, mythology

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: MG Retelling

Recommended Age: 8+ (slight violence and gore, some scary moments)

Explanation of CWs: There are moments in this book that might frighten some younger children.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana’s parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family’s she’s got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana’s freshman year culminates with the class’s weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it’ll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.

But wait, there’s more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full broil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.

Review: I never thought I needed a retelling of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea but here we are and I loved it! I thought that the book was well done. There was a good mix of diversity in this book, including autism. The book also explores a variety of languages and cultures and commentates about evil, greed, and corruption of coroporations alongside the exploitation of technology. The book also does well to develop all of the characters and the world building is absolutely amazing. I also enjoyed the slights at JKR and the HP world and this book will definitely be featured as an Anti HP recommendation.

However, I do have to say that the book is predictable. The book was well written, but I could see the twists a mile away. While it didn’t deter my enjoyment, I did find it a little boring once all my theories were confirmed.

Verdict: Highly enjoyed this one!

I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas

Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: young adult, romance, holiday

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: YA Romance

Recommended Age: 13+ (grief, parent death, romance, fatphobia, dieting TW, vomiting TW)

Explanation of CWs: Grief and parent death are discussed and grief is shown in the book. Romance is enemies to lovers without sexual content. Fatphobic comments and dieting and vomiting are shown in the book and discussed).

Publisher: Amulet

Pages: 336

Synopsis: Noelle Partridge is known for three things: being the best ballet dancer, babysitter, and person with the most Christmas spirit in her small town. But lately she’s bored by the lessons at her dance school, and her friends and father are more bah humbug than Hallmark movie marathon. So when her favorite babysitting clients ask her to accompany them on a ski trip over winter break, she packs her bags for the slopes. It helps that they’re offering double her rate—she’ll need the money for Beacon, an elite ballet academy that’s granted her an audition. 

Noelle is ready to “Deck the Halls” and have fa la la la fun, until Wyatt, the older half-brother of her babysitting charges, decides to surprise his family for the holiday. He’s one of the best dancers at Beacon, and makes Noelle’s head spin faster than pirouettes. Unfortunately, she also manages to step on his toes—spoiling his surprise and complicating his secret plans. After a few missteps, Noelle and Wyatt begin to thaw toward each other and bond over the big decisions looming in each of their lives. With enough Christmas magic, Noelle might just start the New Year with lots of babysitting cash in her pocket and a chance with the pas de deux partner of her dreams.

Review: For the most part I enjoyed the book! It’s corny and punny with the usual holiday sayings. It’s done great with the character development and the world building. The book is also well written and it’s one of the cutest cozy holiday reads I’ve read recently. I also liked the message behind the book about confronting your problems head on instead of running from them.

However, Noelle as a protagonist is a bit pushy and it took me a long time to warm up to her.

Verdict: It was good!

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Tristan Strong Keeps Punching

Author: Kwame Mbalia

Book Series: Tristan Strong Book 3

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Black MC and side characters, African myth and lore

Recommended For…: children’s books, middle grade, fantasy, mythology)

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 10+ (violence, gore, some scary moments, trauma, grief)

Explanation of CWs:

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Pages: 400

Synopsis: After reuniting with Ayanna, who is now in his world, Tristan travels up the Mississippi in pursuit of his archenemy, King Cotton. Along the way they encounter new haints who are dead set on preventing their progress north to Tristan’s hometown of Chicago. It’s going to take many Alkean friends, including the gods themselves, the black flames of the afokena gloves, and all of Tristan’s inner strength to deliver justice once and for all.

Review: I highly enjoyed this book! The character development is great and the world building is sound. I loved the story and I love that the author does not shy away from talking about society or how life is for our main character. Now only is this an important voice for children to read about, I believe that the more talked about these issues that Tristan faces are, the more tools we give children to change the future for the better for all.

The only issue I had with the book is that the beginning of the book is slow and it takes a second for me to remember everything from the previous two books, but I highly recommend this book!

Verdict: Highly recommend!

Fan Club by Erin Mayer

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Fan Club

Author: Erin Mayer

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: Latinx side character

Recommended For…:  psychological, thriller

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Recommended Age: 17+ (depression, stalkerish behavior, cult-like behavior)

Explanation of CWs: Depression is shown, but not named. The MC and side characters have stalkerish and cult-like behavior in their obsession with the celebrity and it’s a bit much.

Publisher: Mira

Pages: 336

Synopsis: In this raucous psychological thriller, a millennial office worker finds relief from her crippling ennui in the embrace of a cliquey fan club, until she discovers the group of women is bound together by something darker than devotion.

Day after day our narrator, a gloomy millennial, searches for meaning beyond her vacuous job at a women’s lifestyle website—entering text into a computer system while she watches their beauty editor unwrap box after box of perfectly packaged bits of happiness. Then, one night at a dive bar, she hears a message in the newest single by child-actor-turned-international-pop-star Adriana Argento, and she is struck. Soon she loses herself to the online fandom, a community whose members feverishly track Adriana’s every move.

When a colleague notices the extent of her obsession, she’s invited to join an enigmatic group of adult Adriana superfans who call themselves the Ivies and worship her music in witchy, candlelit listening parties. As the narrator becomes more entrenched in the group, she gets closer to uncovering the sinister secrets that bind them together—while simultaneously losing her grip on reality.

Review: Overall, this was an ok book. The book was interesting and it had some really well written parts about celebrity obsession and how harmful it can be to the obsessed and the obsesse. I also thought the book had well done world building and the plot is really interesting.

However, the book is weirdly written and we never find out who the actual main narrator is because the book focuses on the obsession with celebrities. The book is also slow in pace and I just couldn’t connect with the narrator or the storyline at all. The ending was also flat. I don’t think I connected well with this book because I’ve never been obsessed with celebrities and generally don’t care about them.

Verdict: It was ok, but not for me.

The Outlaws Scalett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

Author: Jonathan Stroud

Book Series: The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: dystopian, young adult readers, apocalyptic

Publication Date: April 1, 2021

Genre: YA Dystopian

Recommended Age: 15+ (animal death, death, violence, gore, medical experiments/torture)

Explanation of CWs: There is an animal death shown in the book. There is violence and gore. There is also some medical experiments/torture shown.

Publisher: Walker Books

Pages: 400

Synopsis: Set in a fragmented future England, The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne introduces us to a world where gunfights and monsters collide, and where the formidable outlaw Scarlett McCain fights daily against the odds. When she discovers a wrecked coach on a lonely road, there is only one survivor – the seemingly hapless youth, Albert Browne. Against her instincts, Scarlett agrees to escort him to safety. This is a mistake. Soon, new and implacable enemies are on her heels. As a relentless pursuit continues across the broken landscape of England, Scarlett must fight to uncover the secrets of Albert’s past – and come to terms with the implications of her own.

Review: Overall, this was a great book! I loved the dystopian world in this book. It’s probably one of my faves now! I loved the character development and the world building was also well done. The book had an interesting premise and it hooked me immediately. I also loved how well written the book was overall.

The only issue I had with the book is that sometimes it was a bit slow in the pacing, but overall it was very well done.

Verdict: I loved it!

Ekleipsis: The Abyss Book Tour

ekleipsis copy

Welcome to the book tour for Ékleipsis: The Abyss by Tamel Wino. I cannot think of a better book to read for Halloween! Read on for details and a chance to win signed copies of both installments of the Ékleipsis anthologies!

cover-final

Ékleipsis: the Abyss

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2021

Genre: Horror/ Anthology

Ékleipsis: The Abyss is the second short story collection by the award-winning author.

Tales of depravation and insanity are woven together with unrelenting style and depth, scrutinizing human nature’s degeneration when compromised by tragic, vicious circumstances.

These complex, wretched individuals and the irremediable conditions they are desperate to claw out of—or into—invoke the unfathomable question: What devastation are we truly capable of when left with no way out but down . . . into the obscurity of the abyss?

It is at times appalling, strange and outright frightening, but Wino’s way with character development is outstanding. The display of artistic creativity and character creation really sets “Èkleipsis: The Abyss” apart in the field of short story collections.”
Reader Views

“The stories are well-packaged and generally have the feel of watching a syndicated crime drama. Fans of this form of entertainment will likely enjoy these well-crafted stories about everyday people whose lives are shattered by lunatics.”
The US Review of Books

“Wino’s writing is vivid, unsettling and filled with brilliant hints that contribute to the exhilaration of its pacing. Ékleipsis: The Abyss is a clever and creative horror offering worth checking out.”

Independent Book Review

” Tamel really captured that essence of society and the dark side of people. Readers will appreciate the dark undertones of this horror anthology. Ekleipsis: the Abyss will surprise you more that you can imagine.”

Literary Titan

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

About the Author

dgj18g9n6f9mauk6ktttk7u2rn._SX450_

Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic shows and traveling.

Ekleipsis | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Signed copies of Ékleipsis and Ékleipsis: The Abyss

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ekleipsis copy

Book Tour Schedule

October 25th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight) https://latishaslowkeylife.com/

October 26th

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

Phoebe’s Randoms (Spotlight) https://phoebesrandoms.wordpress.com/

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

October 27th

@tiny.bibliophile (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tiny.bibliophile/

@bookaholic__reviews (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookaholic__reviews/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

October 28th

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

Sadie’s Spotlight (Spotlight) http://sadiesspotlight.com/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com

Gryffindor Bookish Nerd (Review) http://gryffindorbookishnerd.simplesite.com/

October 29th

@rosyreadz (Review) https://www.instagram.com/RosyReadz/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

@authormalmccartney (Review) https://www.instagram.com/authormalmccartney/

Haddie’s Haven (Spotlight) https://haddieshaven.blogspot.com

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

Sacaran Nights by Rachel Emma Shaw

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Sacaran Nights

Author: Rachel Emma Shaw

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Diversity: Asexual side character

Recommended For…: dark fantasy, dystopian, new adult readers

Publication Date: October 28, 2021

Genre: NA Dystopian Dark Fantasy

Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, gore, parental death)

Explanation of CWs: Some violence and gore. There’s also death

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 330

Synopsis: Legacy is everything in Sacara. Those few who inherit live only to keep theirs alive, protecting the ghosts of their ancestors from the corruption seeping into every corner of the city.

Dagner longs to leave – to create a legacy for himself and see the world beyond – but he is trapped by an inheritance that was never meant to be his. When a figure from his past returns to claim the legacy Dagner has sworn to protect, he must decide if he will forge his own path, or stay and make the sacrifices needed to save the city of the dead.

Review: I really liked this book overall. The book had well developed characters and world building. The book is unique and something I don’t think I’ve read before. The book is also well plotted and the book hooks you in within a few chapters.

However, I did think that some of the book was confusing. There’s a lot of information about the fungi and it gets confusing to keep them separated in your mind without using the guide. The beginning is also a little off-putting as it’s very confusing and chaotic.

Verdict: It was good!

The Horror Film Killer by Michael J. Bowler

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Horror Film Killer

Author: Michael J. Bowler

Book Series: A Film Milieu Thriller Book 2

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: horror lovers, mystery, thriller, slasher film lovers

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: Mystery Thriller Horror

Recommended Age: 17+ (violence, gore, murder)

Explanation of CWs: It’s a slasher film/book so lots of violence, gore, and murder.

Publisher: Michael J. Bowler Publishing

Pages: 184

Synopsis: What would you do if someone acted out—for real— the kill scenes from your student-made horror film?

That’s the dilemma facing high school seniors Cassie and Donovan. Best friends, aspiring filmmakers, and hopeful romantic partners, they set out to complete a feature-length horror film as a graduation project for their performing arts high school. Using actors and crew from among their classmates, they aim to finish the bulk of shooting over Spring Break. When several murders occur not far from their locations—each one recreating a specific “kill” scene from their script—they suddenly find themselves embroiled in a real-life horror movie neither of them bargained for.

Cassie’s police officer dad and his ex-girlfriend—a homicide detective Cassie once hoped would be her stepmom—allow the film shoot to continue because the killer has threatened to murder Donovan’s mother if they stop. Traps are set and arrests are made, but the killer—who might be a member of the cast or crew—is one step ahead of their every move.

Can Cassie and Donovan help the police unmask the psychopath before more people die?

Review: I really liked this book! The book had a super interesting concept and while I’ve seen this concept before I really liked how the author wrote this one out. The book had well done character development and well done world building. I really liked the writing and the plot line as well.

The only issue I had is that I think some of the dialogue was too lengthy and wordy. I also thought that some of the pacing slowed down at times.

Verdict: It was good! Perfect for horror lovers.