Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Afterimage by Naomi Hughes

Title: Afterimage
Author: Naomi Hughes 
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy
Series: N/A

Hardcover, 320 Pages
Publication: September 18, 2018 by Page Street Kids

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher/
Saichek Publicity in exchange for a honest review.


A horrific explosion levels part of the city and Camryn Kingfisher is the sole survivor.

Amidst controversy, conspiracy theories, and threats from government officials, Camryn longs for the truth. But the only person who she can turn to is a transparent boy in a lab coat named Quint. Unsure whether he’s a hallucination or a ghost, Camryn has no choice but to trust him as they become embroiled in a plot that is bigger than either of them realize.

In a race where the fabric of time and space is at stake, they must figure out who caused the explosion before the culprit comes back to finish Camryn―and her city―off for good

I had high expectations for Afterimage but it fell short when the story took a turn towards Sci-Fi. I’m all for Sci-Fi but the synopsis promised a Dystopian novel, and that was what I was expecting…I felt mislead. The book started with a bang, literally, when an explosion rocks a research/government facility wiping out the entire area within a 10-15 mile radius. The only survivor is our heroine Camryn and another boy, Quint, who may or may not be a figment of her imagination.

Everyone blames Camryn’s mother for the accident and she sets out to prove her mother’s innocence and investigate the shady organization that her mother worked for. The surprise twist, when things turned into a Sci-Fi was about halfway through the book and where we also find out why she was the only person able to see Quint. I thought it was a cool twist but the plot development seemed clunky and ill-defined. It could have been a great idea if it was executed better.

I also wasn’t feeling the characters. Camryn and Quint were pretty one-dimensional. I’m sure Camryn is supposed to be this beyond​ brave girl, breaking and entering buildings, fending off multiple attacks/attempts, and outsmarting the shady agency but it wasn’t the least bit believable…less believable than the Sci-Fi twist. I never felt invested in the characters and found myself caring less and less as the story progressed.

Afterimage had a cool concept but it never went further than that. It had potential though. I just wished I enjoyed it more than I did. However, there are way more positive and glowing reviews for Afterimage, and although I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t. I’d recommend checking out a sample excerpt before reading and/or purchasing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Uncharted by Erin Cashman

Title: Uncharted
Author: Erin Cashman
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Series: N/A

Hardcover, 416 Pages
Publication: September 4, 2018 by Page Street Kids

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher/
Saichek Publicity in exchange for a honest review.


Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and paintings to reality—because in reality, her mom is dead, and it was all her fault. When she accompanies her father to the funeral of some family friends who drowned, she’s surprised to find her grief reflected in the face of Griffin Bradford, the son of the couple who died. Griffin is nothing like the carefree boy she once knew. Now he’s irritable, removed, and he’s under police investigation for his parents’ deaths.

One night following the memorial service, Annabeth’s dad goes missing in the woods, and she suspects Griffin knows more about the disappearance than he’s letting on. He refuses to answer her questions, particularly those related to the mysterious “expedition” his parents took to Ireland, where they went missing for seven months.

Annabeth fears her father isn’t lost, but rather a victim of something sinister. She launches her own investigation, tracing clues that whisper of myth and legend and death, until she stumbles upon a secret. One that some would die to protect, others would kill to expose—and which twists Annabeth’s fantasy and reality together in deadly new ways.
At it’s heart Uncharted is mystery with a touch of myths and fantasy. More mystery than fantasy in my opinion with a secret society and a mysterious mythical island of Hy-Brasil that holds the key to the Fountain of Youth that people are dying to protect or kill to find. I was immediately sold on the idea. I always found the legend of Hy-Brasil fascinating, the island west of Ireland that can only be once every seven years…tales of magic, mythical beast, advanced technology and even faerie inhabitants.

I liked the concept of the novel but I thought it could have been executed better. While Annabeth’s dad, Griffin and the others’ lives were in danger, I still didn’t feel like the stakes were high enough. Everyone lives’ was hinged on keeping the location of Hy-Brasil a secret…but Annabeth was able to figure a lot out in a short period of time. Readers are also told of how technologically advance the Brasilites are and how The Council rules everything with an iron thumb but that is all we know of it. I wanted to learn more. I was more interested in the island than the experiment the Magellans were working on or the mystery surrounding their deaths and how it related to Annabeth’s dad disappearance. The story also focused on Annabeth and Griffin’s relationship. They were childhood friends and are once again reunited 4-5 years later and all of the sudden they’re in-love? I get that they’re kids but it didn’t feel realistic. I also wasn’t a fan of Annabeth and Griffin’ s hot and cold behavior. It was a bit too angsty for me.

Uncharted was a decent read but not without flaws. I was hoping for so much more; more action and Irish legends. I thought the story needed a lot more work, the writing was slightly clunky at times suffering from moments of lulls between scenes and not fully fleshed out characters. I wasn’t particularly a fan of Annabeth or Griffin, I found them frustrating and vexing most of time. I was really hoping to love it but it fell short of being a great read. I’d recommend checking out an excerpt/sample before reading or purchasing to see if this is something you’d like. 

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire

Title: Night and Silence
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: October Daye # 12

Hardcover, 368 Pages
Publication: September 4, 2018 by DAW

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.


Things are not okay.

In the aftermath of Amandine's latest betrayal, October "Toby" Daye's fragile self-made family is on the verge of coming apart at the seams. Jazz can't sleep, Sylvester doesn't want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction. Toby is floundering, unable to help the people she loves most heal. She needs a distraction. She needs a quest.

What she doesn't need is the abduction of her estranged human daughter, Gillian. What she doesn't need is to be accused of kidnapping her own child by her ex-boyfriend and his new wife, who seems to be harboring secrets of her own. There's no question of whether she'll take the case. The only question is whether she's emotionally prepared to survive it.

Signs of Faerie's involvement are everywhere, and it's going to take all Toby's nerve and all her allies to get her through this web of old secrets, older hatreds, and new deceits. If she can't find Gillian before time runs out, her own child will pay the price. One question remains:

Who in Faerie remembered Gillian existed? And what do they stand to gain? No matter how this ends, Toby's life will never be the same.

I went into Night and Silence with a lot of trepidation. The last few books in the series fell short of what was expected when it came to McGuire’s writing and world-building. And as I said in my last review of The Brightest Fell, I tired of the missing children story line; lo and behold the latest plot in the 12th novel of the October Daye series centered around October’s daughter Gillian being kidnapped, again.

With that said, I found Night and Silence enjoyable for the most part, although it is still riddled with copious recaps. McGuire reveals another member of October’s family that I am sure no one will see coming, especially as said person was hidden in plain sight. Readers will also learn more about the history of Faerie and how everything became fractured and divided. I was also glad to see Tybalt back with the group, even though he’s far from recovery.

Overall, Night and Silence is a solid addition to the series. I have a feeling the next book will either take us to the wedding in the Westlands, a wedding I’m sure everyone is waiting for or to The Court of Dreaming Cats. Be sure to check out the novella at the end after you finish Night and Silence, it’s from Gillian’s point-of-view and explains what happened during and after her kidnapping. 

Friday, September 07, 2018

Spotlight: Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven + A Romance Starter Kit Giveaway

In anticipation of the release of PHOENIX UNBOUND by Grace Draven out September 25th, Penguin Random House is hosting an amazing giveaway featuring some of of their most popular Fantasy Romances! The giveaway comprises of "first book" of the most beloved authors in the Fantasy genre such as: Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, Nalini Singh, Chloe Neill...and of course today's featured author Grace Draven! To learn more about Phoneix Unbound, check out the synopsis below.

Hits shelves on September 25, 2018


A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. Unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will abandon everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.


Grace Draven is a Louisiana native living in Texas with her husband, kids, and a big, doofus dog. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and a USA Today Bestselling author. 


Sunday, September 02, 2018

The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire

Title: The Brightest Fell
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: October Daye # 11

Hardcover, 368 Pages
Publication: September 5, 2017 by DAW

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.


For once, everything in October “Toby” Daye’s life seems to be going right. There have been no murders or declarations of war for her to deal with, and apart from the looming specter of her Fetch planning her bachelorette party, she’s had no real problems for days. Maybe things are getting better.

Maybe not.

Because suddenly Toby’s mother, Amandine the Liar, appears on her doorstep and demands that Toby find her missing sister, August. But August has been missing for over a hundred years and there are no leads to follow. And Toby really doesn’t owe her mother any favors.

Then Amandine starts taking hostages, and refusal ceases to be an option.
The synopsis of the 11th book in the October Daye series doesn’t leave a lot to be desired. Amandine, October’s mother shows up to her house to force her to look for her sister August who has been missing for over a century and to make sure she complies she takes Tybalt and Jazz as collateral. October ends up teaming up with her nemesis and stepfather Simon; and thus begins the search.

The theme of missing children seems to be always prevalent in the October Daye series and I wonder if McGuire has run out of ideas? It’s either missing children, drug, politics or war. I would really like to see something different for a change. 

This is the first time we actually see Amandine and she’s a despicable character as I imagined. I hated her and how she treated October. She constantly contradicted herself treating like October isn’t her daughter yet expects October to respect and treat her like a mother. Nope. And she comes into October's house making unreasonable demands and takes her people! And then there’s Simon. We met Simon in one of the previous book but didn’t really get to know him. We finally learn more about Simon and why he did the things he did. He was a pleasant surprise. I feel like I initially misjudged him and actually enjoyed Simon and October’s interaction. However, the ending was not pleasant for Simon. And finally, readers will meet August, October’s sister. I didn’t recall she had a sister. Nor did I like her. She’s a typical spoiled and entitled pure-blood and I could care less about her and thought she was better staying lost.

In my opinion the plot was weak and did nothing to move the series forward. But I did enjoyed everything but the beginning (Amandine taking hostages) and the end (Bratty August making demands to find Simon and the outcome with Jazz and Tybalt). I’m not sure where McGuire is taking this series in this new arc, but so far it’s not so good. The series is about to go onto it’s 12th novel and it clearly shows. The overall story-line is getting a bit stale and the books are overflowing with recapping. Again, we are too far into the series to be recapping every single detail for every character. If McGuire took out the recapping the book would be significantly shorter. I hope she fixes this issue.