50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 2, 2013
Format: ePub
Pages: 155
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Buy on: AmazonAmazon US

1

3.85 Stars

3 half stars

2

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

my-review

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

You know, I was always one of those kids who wondered what happened AFTER the fairy tale was finished. Did they really live happily ever after? What problems did they encounter in their future? How many kids did they have and so on. I’m really glad when authors take the chance to write a retelling of a fairy tale and add their own spin on it. I enjoyed Queen Snow White from David Meredith’s point of view.

This story definitely tugged on the heart strings though. No shame, lots of feels. I definitely cried with Snow White when she was sifting through her grief with the mirror.

This Snow White was more feminine and naive. She had to learn to be a wife, a Queen and eventually a mother. She had many hiccups and clearly struggled with her title, despite her bringing down her step-mother to attain that title.

I do warn you, this Snow White is in a very deep state of grieving. Despite it being a year since her Prince Charming passed away, she stills mourns his loss. Her grief is overwhelming which might make her seem like a simpering, whiny woman. But from the reflections of her past with her Prince, he was her only stability after her step-mother. That loss of stability can be devastating and understandably so. It is important to try to see it from that aspect as well. Everyone grieves differently.

What shocks me, though, is that this won an award and it had so many grammatical errors. I hope the finished copy is more polished than the one I received. It made it difficult for me to rate this because of that. Especially because I enjoyed the story and grieved along with Snow White when she talked about her past with her husband. I also grieved for the small Princess that suffered so greatly at the hands of her step-mother. That people did nothing to help her, much of that was because they couldn’t. It is definitely a heart string tugging story. I just wish a little more finesse was put into it.

Either way, it was a good story. If you enjoy a good retelling of a fairy tale and enjoy seeing the conclusion of what happens to the Fairy Tale princesses, this is definitely the story for you.

3


David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee as well as a Tennessee State Teaching license. He is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

Connect with David

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Amazon

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Thursday Book Reviews

Dragon Redeemer by Amy Bearce

thursday


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Format: ePub
Pages: 220
Add to Good Reads

1

5 Stars

2

Four years have passed since a fairy swarm released the voice of prophecy in Nell Brennan. In that painful moment, a skilled warrior became a reluctant leader and defender of Aluvia’s magic. Now a new enemy threatens their still-fragile lands, one Nell feels powerless to stop even with help from the voice within her.

A mysterious dark alchemist from the Ice-Locked Lands is rising to power on the strength of his sword arm and an ice-breathing dragon obedient to his command. He promises unlimited magic to his followers and death to those who defy him. If he takes over the ports, his corrupt elixirs will disrupt the delicate balance of peace between Aluvia’s people and all magical creatures.

The voice of prophecy sends Nell and her friends to their enemy’s treacherous domain to find a sword of legend. Only the sword’s magic can prevent a return to a world of dying fairies and caged merfolk. But Nell’s up against the toughest foe she’s ever faced. In order to defeat him, she must master the unimaginable power of the sword―and the unwanted magic inside herself.

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say, out of all the three books of the world of Aluvia, this is possibly my most favourite.
At first, I wasn’t too keen on Nell, when I read about her in Fairy Keeper. But she really grew up in this book. She embodies everything people look for in a strong heroine. She is strength, determination and while she is a tom-boy by our Earthly standards, her connection with Corbin was lovely to watch.

I love books that go on grand adventures. Instead of the two sister’s this round, it is Nell who has to follow the prophetic voice inside her head to the Ice-Locked Lands in order to save Aluvia from someone trying to steal the land’s magic. This someone is eerily familiar to Nell as well. A reminder of her past where she delved into organized crime to provide for her family.

This is a great trilogy for your kids to grow up with. Especially those who are in middle grade starting with Fairy Keeper. As Sierra, Phoebe and Nell all grow up and learn their paths in life, find their life partners. It is a great timeline for that and each girl is an inspiration.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

3


Amy Bearce writes fantasy stories for tweens and teens. Her debut, FAIRY KEEPER, is an upper-middle grade fantasy and is the first book in the World of Aluvia series. MER-CHARMER (World of Aluvia, Book Two) released May 9, 2016. Book Three, Dragon Redeemer, is scheduled for release May 23, 2017. She is a former reading teacher who now has her Masters in Library Science. As an Army kid, she moved eight times before she was eighteen, so she feels especially fortunate to be married to her high school sweetheart. Together they’re raising two daughters and are currently living in Germany, though they’ll be heading home to Texas this summer.

Connect with Amy

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest | 

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50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Saturday Reviews

Princess of Tyrone by Katie Hamstead

Saturday Review


Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: March 31, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 263 pages
Add to Good Reads

1

5 Stars

2

Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone.

All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss. Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable.

Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming—but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her new found friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado, and their love blossoms.

But the deadline for the sleeping curse is approaching. If Apolline falls in love with the wrong person, she could end up sleeping forever.

A quirky, adventurous retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a less than princess-ly princess!

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Now, throw away your ideas of how Sleeping Beauty was in the Disney movie and the way the Brother’s Grimm told Sleeping Beauty (thank god, if you know the tale). The heroin in this tale, Apolline, is kick ass. She has absolutely no idea who she is, other than she is an orphan and is being raised by fairy Aunts. Oh and that she is betrothed.
At a young age, to get her out of one of the Aunt’s hair, she is taught to hunt a deer like creature that can only be seen by those who have magic or are around magic enough. She sells the meat and hide of these animals to help out her Aunt’s, financially.
She is a gun toting woman who stands up for herself and keeps herself busy. Hell, she even beat up a pirate when he tried to take off with one of her kills.

At least until Allard, a mysterious soldier, makes his appearance. Then we see Apolline wrestle with herself about her feelings for Allard and her promise to her betrothed. We also learn who Allard is really and how he struggles to remain true to his promise as a Prince and his betrothed.

For me, this had such wonderful tones of Firefly and Doctor Who. Captain Mal would be proud to know Apolline.

I definitely recommend this! I enjoyed the fairies, especially their part in the story!

where-to-buy

Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Alibris

3


Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters, and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an office lady at an elementary school to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Connect with Katie

Blogspot | Twitter | Curiosity Quills Press

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Thursday Book Reviews

Running Wild by Kristen Middleton

thursday

 
Genre: 
Young Adult, Horror, Zombies, Dystopian
Publisher: Dark Shadows, LLC
Publication Date: July 6, 2012
Format: ePub
Pages: 210 pages
Add to Good Reads

1

4 Stars

2
Cassandra Wild is on the run from a deranged psychopath while she fights to stay alive during the zombie apocalypse. After being kidnapped, injured, and thrown together with a new band of misfits, things get more complicated, and it takes all of her strength and courage to survive in a world gone completely mad.

my-review

Cassie, how do you keep allowing yourself to be separated from your friends and family? Sheesh. Mind you, this round she was captured by a psychopath ill with the zombie virus. It seems to make them do violent things to the people they care for. But she does escape Austin the Soldier. But crashes into two new friends, an elderly man named Henry and his nurse Mary. She also meets a bus of drag queens. They were great comic relief and helped Cassie get back to her family.

Bryce though. Dude! Seriously! How dense are you?! He knows that Cassie is mad about him and he chose to believe the Princessy character Eve/Eva. Also, duh, the girl is flirting with you. Not trying to be your friend.
I kind of hoped that Bryce would retain his intelligence but he was kind of reduced to needing a dunce cap.

This book was good. Of course, not as great as the first one was. There were a lot of errors in this book though. Inconsistencies names and some editing issues. No matter what, always try to find someone who is willing to edit for you. It really helps having another set of eyes to find errors.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Chapters/Indigo | Kobo | B&N | Alibris

3


NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kristen Middleton, is from the Midwest and not only enjoys writing, but connecting with her readers. Kristen also writes gritty biker books under the name Cassie Alexandra. She is also involved with raising money to help locate missing and exploited children, helping other authors succeed by sharing what she’s learned in the self-publishing industry, and volunteering resources or her time whenever she can. “Besides having a passion for writing, I adore children, suspenseful movies, watching Shameless and The Walking Dead, traveling, Moscato wine, Chianti Grill, Savoy Pizza, and meeting new friends.”

Connect with Kristen

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Good Reads

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Free book · Saturday Reviews

The Private Sector by Leigh M. Lane

Saturday Review


Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Publisher: Cerebral Books
Publication Date: April 8, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 296 pages
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1

4.75 Stars

4 half stars

2

The world of corporate greed runs rampant after the government’s dissolution has left police, fire, and all other services once handled by the public sector in the hands of privatized businesses and wealthy investors.

With the class divide ever widening, debtor prisons for the lower and middle classes overflowing, disease ravaging the country, and resources running dry, the streets have become a battleground for those who would fight against the elite’s corrupt system, against a world spiraling into ruin, against the devastating impact of a society ruled by The Private Sector.

my-review

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Wow, this was such a terrifying read. Not in the sense that it had jump scares or the like, but in the impact that this society could easily become our future.

Just take a moment and imagine a society where greed and corruption run rampant. Where medical costs and illness will cost you everything you hold dear. Where public services like the police or fire department have become privatized and vie for your money. Imagine a world where education is privatized and what education is open to the public doesn’t guarantee you much of a future. And the careers of today are literally a dying art. Imagine a world where naturally conceived and born children are incredibly rare. That people would prefer to have a child that is completely genetically perfect.

If we continue on this path, I’m sure that will become our reality.

For me, the end of this novel was the hardest. One of the main characters, Dianne Irwin, suffers two of the most horrible experiences ever and it bothered me that she was just expected to move on. And she pretty much does.
I don’t want to ruin the end of the story, but it stuck with me. It was a reminder of the world as it was, no matter what happened.

Thrilling read for sure. I definitely recommend this.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | Alibris

 

3


In addition to writing dark speculative fiction for over twenty-five years, I’ve sung lead and backup vocals for bands ranging from classic rock to the blues, dabbled in fine arts, worked in retail management, and accrued a moderate level of expertise in animal care and behavior. I have a BA in English and graduated from UNLV Magna Cum Laude. I currently live in the dusty outskirts of Sin City with my husband, an editor and educator, and one very spoiled cat.

Leigh M. Lane | Facebook| Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Origins by Kristen Middleton

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Young Adult, Horror, Zombies, Apocalypse, Romance
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: May 28, 2012
Format: ePub
Pages: 238 pages
Add to Good Reads

 

 

1

4.50 Stars

4 half stars

2

Seventeen year old Cassandra Wild thought living in the chaos of her mother’s home daycare and dealing with her developing feelings for Bryce, her new Martial Arts’ instructor, was a struggle, until the night her world turned upside down.

When an untested vaccine kills more than just a rampant flu virus, Cassie learns how to survive in a world where the dead walk, and the living…run!

my-review

For a zombie story, this was a really surprisingly good start. The characters were developed well and the story seemed to have a path it was trying to take.

One thing I definitely enjoy from author’s who chance at writing zombie apocalypse tales is that they start at the beginning. No offense, but I like to know why the world went BOOM and why the dead walk again, not just be launched into mid-survival.

Cassie is one serious tough cookie. She is a karate student and is well versed in weapons, on the insistence of her father. I definitely would want her by my side in a zombie apocalypse. I enjoyed seeing that one side of her and then that vulnerable side where she begins to have feelings for her new martial arts instructor.
Bryce actually seemed older than his 19 years. So it was a little weird to see Cassie enamored with him, but as he opened up more and discussed his family life, it was understandable why he seemed so much older. I’m not going to ruin it though, you’ll have to find out why the hot martial arts instructor is the way he is.

There were a few minor editing error’s but nothing that took away from the story line.

However, noted, don’t get vaccinated by an untested vaccine. You might turn into a human chomping zombie!

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN Amazon US | Kobo | Indigo | Alibris | IndieBound

3


NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kristen Middleton, is from the Midwest and not only enjoys writing, but connecting with her readers. Kristen also writes gritty biker books under the name Cassie Alexandra. She is also involved with raising money to help locate missing and exploited children, helping other authors succeed by sharing what she’s learned in the self-publishing industry, and volunteering resources or her time whenever she can. “Besides having a passion for writing, I adore children, suspenseful movies, watching Shameless and The Walking Dead, traveling, Moscato wine, Chianti Grill, Savoy Pizza, and meeting new friends.”

Kristen Middleton | Facebook | Twitter | Good Reads

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Linda (Rebirth of the Gangster: Meet the Family #5) by C.J. Standal and Juan Romera

Saturday Review 
Genre: Crime, Comic
Publisher: C.J. Standal Productions
Publication Date: March 31, 2017
Format: PDF
Pages: 24 pages
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1

5 Stars

 

2

The gang’s back!

Linda’s been fighting a battle with cancer, but she stumbles onto something even worse: the addictions of her past resurface to tempt her again. And Alex starts to suspect Hunter, but will Alex confront him? Plus, Marcus and Andrea both make a trip to the gun range. The acclaimed crime masterpiece gets even more complex, casting light on the past secrets.

The acclaimed crime series continues as the creative team–writer CJ Standal and artist Juan Romera–keeps firing on all cylinders. This neo-noir modern masterpiece is a perfect match for fans of Breaking Bad, 100 Bullets, The Wire and The Godfather.

my-review

I received this comic from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

In this issue, we get to know Hunter’s mother Linda a bit better. Especially as she faces down cancer and an old addiction surfaces when her doctor prescribes opiates to help with the pain.

Meanwhile, Alex and Hunter have a run in. Alex is very suspicious of Hunter and tries to let Marcus know this. Although Marcus seems to brush him off.
It also becomes apparent that Hunter’s friendship with Marcus is also having some negative feedback on Marcus’ spotty attendance at work and poor workmanship. Very worrisome, indeed.

It was sad to see Linda cave and take the opiates, whether it was for pain or another reason. I just hope she is able to distinguish between taking them for pain and not addiction. But we’ll have to see in the upcoming issues!

This just continues to get more and more interesting. The artwork, as always, is awesome. I enjoyed the cover as well.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US
Issues 1-4

 

3

I love writing in all sorts of playgrounds: Rebirth of the Gangsters  is my first comic book, and I’ve been published by Slant magazine: https://www.slantnews.com/user/cj.standal

You can also find me on Philip Smith’s site promoting indie authors:
http://www.philipsmith.eu/kindle-ebook/rebirth-gangster-meet-family-marcus

I’m also a high school English teacher: next year I’ll be teaching a graphic novel course; in the past I’ve taught a hip hop course; and I educate the youth about other valuable things, like Shakespeare.

Thanks,
CJ.

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Thursday Book Reviews

Xander’s Folly by Belinda M. Gordon

thursday

 
Genre:
Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Shaggy Dog Productions, LLC
Publication Date: May 13, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 204 pages
Add to Good Reads

1

4.50 Stars

4 half stars

2

Celtic mythology, suspense, and a modern day romance!
Xander spent most of his life exploring his mother’s disappearance. When new clues surface that suggest she’s alive and waiting for him to find her, he must decide what he’s willing to risk to get his answers.

Tressa longs to accept Xander’s proposal of marriage, but as evil fae surface around every corner, she must choose between putting him in constant danger—or letting her soul mate go.

Tressa and Xander want a peaceful life together, but will their destiny make it impossible? As the King’s Jewel, Tressa is destined to save her people—but at what cost? When the Sword of Light brings out Xander’s violent side—can he break the hold it has on him?

Xander’s Folly is the second book in the King’s Jewel fantasy series that blends Celtic mythology with a modern story.

my-review

I received this eBook through Book Review 22 in exchange for an honest review. 

I found that this story was more about Xander than it was about Tressa. It revolved around Xander’s bonding with Tressa, his bonding with the Claíomh Solais (Sword of Light) and protector of Tressa, the King’s Jewel. It was interesting to see the sword through Tressa’s eyes, as it bound itself to Xander’s aura.

This story was also about Xander’s family, specifically his father and missing mother. After a mysterious phone call about Xander’s father, Tressa and Xander rush off to find out what has happened. There they happen upon several Unseelie loose in city where Xander’s father lives. Which might attribute to his father’s disintegrating memory. They also find a Lost Child who doesn’t know what or who she is.

It was interesting to find out what Xander’s “folly” really meant. I won’t ruin it for anyone else, but it is quite interesting.

This was a great book. I look forward to the third story. Maybe one day, Tressa will get her wish of being a mom.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Alibris

3


Belinda M Gordon was born and raised in Pennsylvania and currently lives in the Pocono Mountains with her wonderfully supportive husband, her thoughtful easy-going son, and two delightful dogs.

She is of Irish heritage, which is how she became interested in Celtic Mythology. She used the Celtic Mythology, specifically of Ireland, as the starting point of her Romance/Fantasy series, The King’s Jewel.

Belinda also enjoys photography, fashion, music, dancing and a good mystery. You will find these influences throughout her writing.

Good Reads | Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Google+ | Facebook

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press

Muddy Waters by Sara O. Thompson

Bookreview banner

 
Genre: 
Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 276 pages
Format: ePub
Add to Good Reads

1

4.80 Stars

4 half stars

2

Twenty years ago, the boundary between worlds dropped. It will be a while before the political, social, and religious upheaval settles down but the good news is: now you can book a vacation to Valhalla as easily as you can go to Las Vegas. Your real estate agent might be a Wood Sprite. Your mechanic might be a Minotaur. For better or for worse, Supernormals are part of Earth life.

Five years ago, Tessa Reddick was convicted of killing her entire family: 37 Witches from one of the most powerful covens in history. She’s been locked up at Lakeland Psychiatric hospital, still grieving but mad as hell at whoever–or whatever–put her there.

Half an hour ago, a handsome FBI agent showed up to spring Tessa from the joint
–but there’s a price. A series of murders is picking off Supernormals and the feds need the help of the last known Reddick Witch.

Determined to learn who set her up for the fall, help solve the FBI crimes, and maybe get closer to her mysterious (and seriously hot) Dark Elf partner, Tessa is more than willing to play Witchy Nancy Drew.

But Tessa has few friends left and something is coming for her, too – maybe it’s the one who framed her and killed her coven, or perhaps a new foe with a taste for Witch’s blood.

Solving crimes, doing magic, drinking bourbon. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it.

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a wonderful story. It was a great mash up of the modern world and the fantasy world.

This story involves rift between our world and the fantasy world. Where the boundaries between the two have become thinner. And fantasy creatures then come over the boundaries to our world. Some to escape their lives, and some to cause hell. Either way, all kinds of creatures end up mixing with humans and try to blend in.

Tessa is accused of murdering her family and her coven. She is put in a psych-ward and heavily medicated until the FBI springs her. She is then sent on a crash course to becoming an agent to help find out who is murdering the supernatural’s in the human world.

I absolutely enjoyed Tessa. She was full of life and snarky. She told it like it is too. No word was really minced with her. But I guess after being accused of murdering your coven and locked up, knowing you’re innocent, you’d have to keep some sort of honesty about you. I enjoyed that she was a full blooded female who had the hots for her partner, Qyll the Dark Elf. No shame there, ha ha.
Qyll, on the other hand, needed a little more complexity. He seemed to be only there for Tessa to hit on. A little more character building with that character would have made the story even better.

I did have one issue with consistency though. If you’re going to break your main character out of a psychiatric ward where she spent time being heavily medicated and basically ignored, one would need some serious recovery time. Antipsychotic’s are not easy to come off of at all. Detox time would have been needed. The other issue would be that she wouldn’t have a crash course in the FBI either. She would have been brought in as a consultant, because training isn’t a week long thing. I know it’s a story, but a little more consistency and world building would have been nice in that aspect.

I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a new fantasy read. Especially if you like shows like True Blood, Grimm and Lost Girl.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN| Amazon US| Barnes & Noble| Book Depository| Alibris

3


Sara O. Thompson’s first attempt at a book was prepared on a Remington typewriter and bore a suspicious resemblance to a famous novel whose title rhymes with ‘Gourd of the Spies.’

In her spare time, she performs improv comedy, tells stories on stage, and loves ballroom dancing. Sara lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her family.

Sara O. Thompson | Curiosity Quills Press | Good Reads| Twitter

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Thursday Book Reviews

Foundling by D.M. Cornish

thursday

 
Genre: 
Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 434 pages
Add to Good Reads

2

Set in the world of the Half-Continent—a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols—the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl’s name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters—and people, who may be worse. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully.

Complete with appendices, maps, illustrations, and a glossary, Monster Blood Tattoo grabs readers from the first sentence and immerses them in an entirely original fantasy world with its own language and lore.

my-review

Rossamund is a boy who is an orphan (or in the book’s term, a foundling). A young boy with an unfortunate name. The boys and girls in the orphanage, when they reach a certain age, were given a choice in career. Rossamund was chosen as a lamplighter for the army. Rossamund goes on an epic journey to reach his destination and his career.

I enjoyed that Rossamund was so innocent and easily distracted from his path, despite his obvious worry that he wouldn’t make it in time and/or lose his position. He managed to make friends and a few enemies along the way. It was a grand adventure with him.
I enjoyed the addition of Miss Europe. At first, I wasn’t sure if she was going to kill Rossamund. But she ended up being a mother figure to him.
That was a running theme. Each of the characters in the book became some sort of a parental figure, as much as they became a friend. They gave Rossamund the sense of family that he was missing.

I definitely recommend this novel for anyone looking for a unique story filled with monsters, steampunk themes, arcane magicks and science. This was a great novel and a wonderful find.

3


D.M. Cornish was born in time to see the first Star Wars movie. He was five. It made him realize that worlds beyond his own were possible, and he failed to eat his popcorn. Experiences with C.S. Lewis, and later J.R.R. Tolkien, completely convinced him that other worlds existed, and that writers had a key to these worlds. But words were not yet his earliest tools for storytelling. Drawings were.

He spent most of his childhood drawing, as well as most of his teenage and adult years as well. And by age eleven he had made his first book, called “Attack from Mars.” It featured Jupitans and lots and lots of drawings of space battles.

He studied illustration at the University of South Australia, where he began to compile a series of notebooks, beginning with #1 in 1993. He had read Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels, The Iliad, and Paul Gallico’s Love of Seven Dolls. Classical ideas as well as the great desire to continue what Mervyn Peake had begun but not finished led him to delineate his own world. Hermann Hesse, Kafka and other writers convinced him there were ways to be fantastical without conforming to the generally accepted notions of fantasy. Over the next ten years he filled 23 journals with his pictures, definitions, ideas and histories of his world, the Half-Continent.

It was not until 2003 that a chance encounter with a children’s publisher gave him an opportunity to develop these ideas further. Learning of his journals, she bullied him into writing a story from his world. Cornish was sent away with the task of delivering 1,000 words the following week and each week thereafter. Abandoning all other paid work, he spent the next two years propped up with one small advance after the other as his publisher tried desperately to keep him from eating his furniture.

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