Thursday, September 8, 2016

[Review] The Rhodi Saga


The Rhodi Saga

by Megan Linski

Publish date: September 4, 2016
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, YA
Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads summary

Rhodi's Light (Book 1)

Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance.

These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

The first installment in the epic fantasy series by bestselling author Megan Linski, Rhodi’s Light is an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers begging for more.

Rhodi Rising (Book 2)

Forced into hiding.
Desperate to find their masters.
In the past few months since the attack on their home, twin assassins Dylan and Devin have grown restless. With the Rhodi facing extinction, they search for their masters Talidin and Tavana, only to discover they’ve gone missing. With nowhere to turn, the twins seek help from a pair of mysterious spies, only to find the trail gone cold, marked by hints of torture and destruction.

Dylan and Devin piece together the events that led to the disappearance of their fellow Rhodi. As their enemies close in for the kill, Dylan discovers that some things are impossible for a Rhodi…but not for a tigress.

The stakes and romance are heightened in this epic dystopian sequel to Rhodi’s Light. Bestselling author Megan Linski brings readers a young adult fantasy with magic, mystery, and an epic adventure that races quickly to a breathless conclusion.

Rhodi's Lullaby (Book 3)

Cities burn.
Governments fall.
Lives are lost in a desperate the Rhodi are losing.

The world has been devastated by the tyranny of the Red Huntress. To save Crescentia, Dylan and Devin attempt to decipher the mystery of the ancient letter their ancestors left behind, the only hope of salvation for their kind. Dylan continues to fight foes both on the battlefield and within her own mind, all while wrestling with the confused feelings she has for Enfys, the alluring spy who has become devoted to her cause.

In the epic conclusion to the thrilling Rhodi Saga, one brave warrior will stand in the way of corruption, to take place before her destiny…or her death.

Rhodi’s Lullaby is the third installment in the suspenseful young adult dystopian series fans and critics are calling an original masterpiece in the epic fantasy genre.

Rhodi’s Light and Rhodi Rising are also available. Catch up on the entire series today!

My thoughts

The Rhodi Saga is like a cross between fantasy novel and a superhero comic. Here were have the story of four super individuals, or Rhodis as they call themselves. Young twins, Dylan and Devin, after losing their parents manage to find their way to the last Rhodi warriors, Talidin and Tavana, who are also twins. Under their tutelage they begin to hone their skills to become the next generation of warrior. Devin thrives in their new environment, but Dylan struggles with the pressure. 

What I liked most about Dylan's character is that's she's very flawed. She's surly, she's combative and she's angry at the world. But underneath it all, she's just scared of losing the new family she's made just like she lost her parents. It make for a compelling character who you just want to root for. 

I really liked the relationship between all four characters. They managed to build their own little family, even though some of them butted heads from time to time. Each character grew into their respective roles throughout the novel.

My one gripe about The Rhodi Saga is that I feel the description is misleading. It makes is seem like Dylan is the main character, when in fact it's really four character and four points of view. I'm one of those people that actually doesn't really like multiple POVs, so I like to know beforehand what I'm getting in to. But in the end, all the characters were likeable and each perspective was important to the story.  

The overall writing to the story was good, I didn't notice any glaring errors that take away from the story and it gets better and the novel goes on. Final rating is 3.5 out of 5 stars with a recommendation to definitely read. The best part is that it's available on Kindle Unlimited, if you have it. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here

About Megan Linski

Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing and has had a passion for writing ever since she completed her first (short) novel at the age of 6. Her specializations are romance, fantasy, and contemporary fiction for people aged 14-24. When not writing she enjoys ice skating, horse riding, theatre, archery, fishing, and being outdoors. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder. She lives in Michigan.

Megan Linski also writes under the pen name of Natalie Erin for the Creatures of the Lands Series, co-authored with Krisen Lison.

Author links
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

[Giveaway & Blog Hop] International Authors' Day

**A special thanks to b00k r3vi3ws for putting together this event!

As I sat here contemplating who to feature for this post on International Authors' Day I became a little stuck. There are so many fantastic authors out there. Where do I even begin to narrow down my choices? For something like this I always love to feature indie/self-pubbed authors because they just don't get enough credit. 

Then, BAM, just like that it hit me. I knew exactly who I was going to feature for this year's blog hop. Disclaimer: I personally know this author. However, she has no idea that I run a blog or that I'm spotlighting her. 

Meet Joan Mauch

Let me tell you a little about Joan and how I know her. We both work at a mid-sized newspaper in the Midwest. I'm one of the copy editors on the design staff and Joan is the semi-retired, part time proofreader who catches all my mistakes. Over the four years I've been here, without fail, she's walked in here every single day with a bright smile on her face. 

Joan recently took her first steps into self publishing to get out her fourth novel, Escape from Ambergris Caye. It's been amazing to watch her learn a brand new skill set and deal with all the trials and tribulations that come with it. It also makes me feel like a lazy lump. Her passion for writing have been a serious inspiration to get back into the groove myself. No more half-assed excuses. 

Joan's bio: Ever since Joan Mauch excitedly recognized the letter “A” in a newspaper at the age of six she’s been fascinated with the printed word.

Over the years she became something of a vagabond, having lived in Washington state, Oregon, Illinois and most recently, Iowa working at everything from teaching to selling real estate. Vacations are spent in the company of her son enjoying the Gulf of Mexico.

You can find out more information on her website. And you can check out her book here. It's free until July 17.

About the book 

Escape from Ambergris Caye

In this chilling tale of kidnapping and intrigue, TV cameraman Jackson Taylor frantically searches for his reporter friend Izzie Campbell who has gone missing. In spite of the threat of being fired from a job he loves, Jackson pursues the matter with help from his free-spirit brother Zac. The terrifying scenario plays itself out from the sunny beaches of Florida to a tropical island off the coast of Belize. When Jackson gets locked inside a steamer trunk on its way out of the country aboard a trawler yacht, Zac must battle not only to save Izzie's life but their own.

What's the best part? 

Her newest novel, and her first self-published one, Escape from Ambergris Caye, is free right now for the duration of this giveaway, July 14-17. If you download the book and plug in your order information you can get lots of extra entries for the giveaway.


Rules: This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who is able to receive their prize as an Amazon gift. One lucky winner will receive a $5 Amazon e-gift card to purchase the next book on their summer reading list.
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Friday, June 10, 2016

[Giveaway & Blog Hop] Debut Authors

To me, there's nothing better than finding a brand new author to add a little freshness to my life. So, here are a few of newbies I've found this year. Make sure to enter to giveaway below for a $5 Amazon e-gift card so you can find your own new authors. Also, a special thanks to Bookhounds for always hosting. Happy reading!

Hatred Day

In the year 2052, it's not love but hate that unites the world.

Humanity is unified against the Inborns, an extraterrestrial species with godlike intelligence and abilities whose arrival on earth caused an environmental and biological crisis.

Enslaved and despised even by her own Inbornkind, 18-year-old Snofrid Yagami reawakens to the world after having her memories stolen and is certain of only one thing: she will do anything to ensure her freedom. But her resolution is soon tested when the son of a high-ranking human official is murdered and her home city becomes the center of the interspecies war, one that might see the Inborns purged. Desperate to find a way out of the city for herself and her family, Snofrid risks making a deal with the manipulative Inborn Commander, Hadrian, and his brutal cadre of soldiers. Her task is simple: take part in a historic hunt that will bring wealth and fame to all who survive. Unfortunately, Snofrid’s role is one in which survival is rarely seen—the bait.

Goodreads | Amazon

Borrowed Magic

After a three-year siege, Lord Kern, the dark mage, is dead. Magic has left Tredare, and life is almost back to normal.

For everyone except Maren, that is.

Before the siege, an attack by Lord Kern left Maren near death and with a sliver of magic buried deep inside her. Now, for reasons Maren doesn’t understand, that magic has been triggered, giving her the ability to “see” the truth: that her world is nothing more than a magical fa├žade; and that the kingdom’s hero may not be a hero at all.

But this gift of sight comes at a high cost. Maren is in constant pain, and fears her own death is imminent. Plus, no one believes her suspicions that another Dark Mage has risen, and that Tredare may be in just as much danger as it was when Kern was alive.

With the country’s future in the hands of a man who’s vowed revenge on its king, Maren must convince someone else of the truth. Unfortunately, the only person powerful enough to help is also the one man she can’t trust; the man she almost married; the man who abandoned her and disappeared for three years: Kern’s son.

As Tredare crumbles around them, Maren must persuade him to help - before the king is murdered by the very hero he reveres; and before the same magic that gives Maren the gift of sight also takes her life.

Goodreads | Amazon


Rules: This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who is able to receive their prize as an Amazon gift. One lucky winner will receive a $5 Amazon e-gift card to purchase the next book on their summer reading list.

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See the rest of the hop


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

[Review] The Broken Crown

The Broken Crown

by Amryn Cross

Publish date: May 23, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads summary

Princess Emilia Aurelius was only seven when she watched her mother die at the hands of her father—martyred for believing in the God of the Atlas Empire’s Insurgo rebels. At seventeen, exiled to a military outpost where no one knows her true identity, she’s vowed to leave her royalty behind and explore the truth of the Insurgo rebels her mother loved. 

When the Emperor of Atlas summons the princesses from each of the provinces to the imperial city to choose a wife for the crown prince, Emilia must leave her military life behind to join a royal court rife with cunning and intrigue. Navigating the waters of court politics and budding love are treacherous on their own, but Emilia fears for her life should anyone learn of her Insurgo sympathies. 

With an unlikely ally in the captain of the emperor's guard, Emilia must uncover the truth of the Insurgos, start a revolution, and learn to become the princess she’s vowed never to be, all while protecting her heart from a prince who could sign her death warrant.

My thoughts

In The Broken Crown we have the story of religious persecution by the Emperor and those who serve him, reminding me a lot of the early days of Christianity. Anyone caught practicing the religion of the Insurgos is put to death. One girl will try to change it all and fight to allow everyone to worship their own God. 

Emilia is my kind of heroine princess. She's strong in so many ways; physically, mentally and in spirit. She can kick butt just as well as any many, but as she enters the court to vie for the prince's affections, she finds she knows so little of court politics and how to be a lady. The stakes are high in this game she plays, yet she doesn't know all the rules. 

I enjoyed watching Emilia grow as a person. She's comfortable in her role at the military outpost her father exiled her to, but as soon as it's disrupted she puts on her big girl pants and makes the best of a new situation. She knows she's meant for something greater, she just doesn't know how or what yet. 

As to the romance in The Broken Crown we have two contenders, the commander and the prince, Felix and Ronan. There's no insta-love in this book, thankfully, and I spent most of my time going between wanting one, then the other, to win her heart. But you'll have to read to find out what happens. Felix and Ronan have a great bromance that I enjoyed reading about.  

My only complaint, and why I rated it 3.5 stars, is that this book is highly religious; more so than the blurb would lead you to believe. Sometimes, I felt I was back in religion class being preached at. In my opinion there are too many prayers and too many discussions along the same lines. I found myself skipping over those parts pretty early on in the novel. I would have been happy with a quick sentence that said she sent up a quick prayer before XX happens, rather than having to read the entire prayer as she said it in her head. As I said, I felt I was being preached at a lot. However, take that with a grain of salt. I spent my entire life being preached at, so I'm at odds with religion on most days. 

With being said, The Broken Crown was well-written; I'd be hard pressed to find more than a few errors in this novel. The characters at interesting and in-depth, and the world building was great. Overall, it's definitely worth the read and I'll be waiting for the next book in the series to see what happens. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here
Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About Amryn Cross

A tomboy with southern belle roots, Amryn Cross was born and raised in Tennessee where she learned the importance of God, family, Southern hospitality, and football. Shes loved the written word from the time she was a child, convinced the squiggly lines on top of the Hostess cupcake really spelled out a secret message.

Amryn is a proud momma to two adorable puppies –Argo and Luna– who provide lots of laughs and kisses. She is also an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and My Book Therapy (MBT) and answers writers' forensic questions at Jordyn Redwood’s Medical Edge blog.

Author links


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Blog tour organized by YA Bound Book Tours

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

[Review & Giveaway] The Midnight Sea


The Midnight Sea (Fourth Element #1)

by Kat Ross

Publish date: May 10, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads summary

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….


Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

My thoughts

Well, this was another sleepless night on the books ... and I mean that in a good way. If you're looking for the perfect fantasy then you can stop what you're doing and check out The Midnight Sea. There's lots of action, story/character building, more action, drama and a dash of romance. 

The story starts off with death and mayhem as we're quickly introduced to the evil Druj. Nazafareen watches as one possesses her younger sister, a fate that she can't come back from. This moment sparks Nazafaree's journey of revenge against all Druj. She'll leave her family and home behind to become a Water Dog.

The Midnight Sea starts when Nazafareen is barely out of her child years but moves quickly through her training as a Water Dog, which takes a few years, until she's on the cusp of adulthood. Then, we finally meet Darius, the daeva she'll be linked to. Throughout the book we get small glimpses into his past and I know it's just skimming the surface.

The relationship between our two main characters is interesting in the beginning. They train together, but have little contact outside of that. Neither really has any interest in the other. Then, slowly we see their friendship start to bloom.  Both a little wary and unsure of themselves

I really enjoyed their relationship as a whole. It took a long time to buildup and there's only a little romance at the end. They're conflicted because Darius is still a slave and  Nazafareen is still the one in control of the chains. But you can see she's a good person, she's just struggling to sort out how she feels versus what she was raised to believe. 

Overall, this gets a solid 4 stars from me for being well-written, fast paced and also a little dark at time. I just love it and I can't wait to see what the next book brings. I have a feeling things will get even more intense as the story continues. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here

About Kat Ross

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

Author links
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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Sunday, May 1, 2016

[Review] Daughter of the Sun

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1)

by Zoe Kalo

Publish date: May 1, 2016
Genre: YA, Mythology, Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Cult of the Cat series 

According to ancient Egyptian prophecy, three feline goddesses—Bastet, Sekhmet, and
Mafdet—would one day be reborn as triplets during a solar eclipse.

But someone—or something—separated them at birth. Because if ever they were reunited,
they would unleash a blistering power that could destroy the world.

In an adventure where the past confronts the present, and blood, betrayal and secrets abound, the triplets face each other for the first time. And discover they’re the only force able to stop the evil god Apophis from enslaving humanity.

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 

Sixteen-year- old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the
enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a
prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to
eighteen-year- old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to
confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

My thoughts

Most everyone who knows me in real life, and those who've stopped by Book Nerd Paradise before, know about my obsession with the mythologies of many cultures. My cats, Artemis and Athena, can confirm that for you. I've been seeing a lot more books based on Greek mythology, but not a whole lot of ones on Egyptian mythology, other than Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles. 

So, I was pretty excited to find Daughter of the Sun steeped in Egyptian myth. The ancient Egyptians have always held a place in my heart due to their reverence for cats. I'm an animal lover and any cultures that severely punishes animal abuse is A-OK in my book. Some day I hope to take a trip to Egypt and see all that's left of the ancient world. 

Daughter of the Sun is the story of orphaned Trinity, who suddenly discovers a long lost grandmother who has been looking for her since she disappeared 17 years ago right after her birth during the solar eclipse. Trinity travels to the Island of the Cats, where being a cat person is a requirement, to meet her grandmother. Lo and behold, her grandmother is very sick and passes shortly after her arrival. Taking all the answers to Trinity's questions with her. The bulk of the novel is about Trinity's search for answers to her past and the changes that are slowly happening to her. 

What I really loved about Daughter of the Sun is that Ms. Kalo managed to flawlessly weave a history lesson into the plot of the story without slowing the reader down with an info dump. Each god or goddess we run into gets a short explanation, while some of the key gods/goddesses go into more detail throughout the book. It's amazing to be able to read for fun and learn something new at the same time. No dusty history textbook here. 

As a main character I really liked Trinity. She's hot-headed and a bit impulsive, but a genuinely a good person. She has a hard time holding her tongue, but still knows when an apology is necessary. 

The only thing I wasn't really feeling in this book was the romance. It was kind of meh. Seth is a bit boring to me and there was really no development to their relationship. She just kind of maybe loves him all of a sudden, even though he's really the only boy she's ever been around. Thankfully, the romance isn't the main part of the story any way. 

The writing gets two thumbs up from me. I saw little to no errors that detract from the story. The plot was fast-paced and had me reading the whole book in one sitting. This is definitely one that gets a green light recommendation from me. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here

About Zoe Kalo

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with Zoe
Website | Facebook | Twitter

**This review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours**