Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

“She fluttered briefly as her ghost shook loose, and then her hands relaxed, shedding fistfuls of freshly picked torch ginger buds.”

Warning: this book may make you weep. There is a lot of emotion wrung out of the characters and Laini crafts her story well. I still feel it now, even though I’ve finished the book and I’m telling you about it, it’s like a feeling of loss, almost.

Lazlo Strange is the main character in the book. We join him as a child at the monastery where he has been placed as an orphan. His play is beaten out of him, but his love of stories and dreams is not. As he grows up he is sent on an errand to a library and so instead of becoming a monk he becomes a librarian, feeding his love of stories.

It is that love of stories that helps to set him on the biggest adventure of his life. The one about Strange the Dreamer.

I suggest you read the book to find out about Weep and its inhabitants, about Lazlo Strange and about the blue skinned goddesses and god who live in a mesarthium citadel, abiding by The Rule that they set for themselves.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

5/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

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The Hand in Shadow by JD Lovil

“”I see that you are the Hand in Shadow in this world. Know that what you must do is necessary, lest the Night-Wolf and the World Serpent descend upon your world, and bring about the Twilight, which is Ragnarok.”

This book is a bit sci-fi, a bit mythology; there are snippets from many different theologies introduced in some of the minor characters, but I don’t think it would detract from the story if you were bothered by that.
Essentially, John lost his wife and child to a demon and since then has learned to meditate to help him through the pain. As a consequence of his meditation he has opened himself to releasing his innate skills as a shadow walker and has been recruited by the resistance to help save humanity.
His companion throughout the tale is Barney, who is only one of two who are able to enter John’s Mind Palace, a safe place in his imagination. The other is ‘Monk’, a blind guy, who doesn’t give John his real name, so John calls him Monk in deference to his appearance and style of clothing..
Monk is John’s contact with the resistance and gives him the ‘contracts’ or tasks that the resistance need John to undertake.
The resistance is up scaling it’s efforts against the enemy and John is one of the key players in their plans. As one of the godlike beings tells John, he is the ‘hand in shadow’ and essential in protecting our world and restoring safety to humanity.
The story is generally well written, with only the occasion repetitive or oddly worded section, but these are minor and do not detract from the story. It is not a short read, so you will get your money’s worth with this book. You should hopefully also find it as engaging as I did. I enjoyed this book, it helped me as I was working through a different time in my life, by giving me an escape from the real world.

I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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What are you, after everything you ever loved is taken away?

John Nomad once was a normal man, with a good job, loving wife, and beautiful daughter. A demonic creature took their lives, and destroyed everything that John cared about.

In the depths of his depression, a blind monk introduced him to a hidden world of power, of men and gods who use exotic powers to change the world around them. He showed John that a powerful group was behind his family’s death, and were the real power behind every government and political power on earth.

John’s depression turned to rage, and a determination to oppose the Unseen Masters, and to avenge his family. He became a part of the Resistance, and he discovered an ability to manipulate Shadow within himself. He became an important and versatile part of the Resistance, called by gods and men The Hand of the World.

Now John must stay ahead of the assassins sent to kill him, and avoid both physical and psychic attacks, and the darker things that lurk in the darkness. He strikes back at the enemy wherever he can. Each time he kills an enemy operative, he gets closer to the Anunnaki Slavers, and Humanity’s ultimate survival.

The enemy has been hiding behind the Kings of the world for thousands of years. We all sense this, and we feel powerless to stop them. Now they are preparing to come into the light, and enslave humanity until the end of time.

Will John and his fellow Resistance members be able to stop the Unseen Masters? Find out. Buy a copy of The Hand in Shadow.

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Dragonsong by Michael Forester

“Hail, Oberon –defend me now! For thou art my dear chosen one this evil must thou not allow! Thy silence doth thy father now amaze!”

A tale of dragons and ancient times, with elves and humans in strife.

Oberon, Captain-King of Elves, covets a maiden in Albion, but she (is protected and ) only wants to take up and fulfil her inherited duties. In his rage at his rejection Oberon determines to revenge himself on her and Albion.

Later in the book, on taking up her duties Rebekah finds her true love, which is when Oberon unleashes his revenge, twisting her against her father Merlin, in the process.

It then falls to Merlin to try and help redeem his daughter and save all of Albion from dragonsong in the process.

This book is not written in prose, it is all rhyming couplets. It takes some getting used to. The first time I started to read, I put it aside in frustration. However, on re-starting the tale I persevered and found it engaging to read. In fact I managed to get three quarters of the way through in one sitting.

Those who like ancient style tales will enjoy this book. But like many bardish tales, you could expect tears!

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
A bardic epic fantasy in rhyming Old English, an allegorical masque of good and evil in an Authurian tradition. Rebekah, daughter of Merlin and noblewoman of Albion has been driven to madness by the murder of her lover Vidar. In her torment she bargains with the Prince of Demons to turn her into a dragon. Once transformed, she seeks to take revenge upon her father, Merlin, whom she is fooled into believing is responsible for Vidar’s death.

Behind the subterfuge stands Oberon, Captain-King of Elves, who cannot foresee the devastation his jealousy and unrequited love for Rebekah will unleash upon the world of Gaia. Its salvation depends upon Merlin travelling back in time to find a pure hearted warrior, Lady Attie, who, together with Michael, seer of Albion, must take the Sleep Stone from the gates of Hell to persuade the dragon to sleep. But if they are unable to return the Stone to the mouth of Hell in time, the demon army will awaken and ransack Gaia in a war that will destroy its existence. Time is the solution to Gaia’s destiny – but only if the gods of Asgard can find a way to stop it.

Dragonsong is a unique epic fantasy that explores fundamental themes of good and evil, jealously and revenge. Woven together with a gripping and powerful plot, the pattern of the language, the musicality of the form and the profound emotions invoked carry the reader to extremes of human experience and capability at both its best and worst.

A Note From the Publisher
Michael Forester was born with a pen in his hand. His first published creative work, If It Wasn’t For That Dog, about his first year with his beloved hearing dog Matt was published in 2005. He is an Oxford University graduate, a Winchester Writer’s Festival prize winner and has been long/shortlisted three time in the Fish Writing Contest. His first novel Vicious was showcased by The Literary Consultancy.

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The Forgotten Tale (The Accidental Turn Series, Book 2) by J M Frey

“The Sigil is there, and yes, there is a Star-stone that Fell from the Sky, the Scale from the Siren’s Lover, and the Compass that Never Points Home, all speckled with the Blood of He Who Calls. And all on a Hearth that Warms the Shadow.”

I understand that Forsyth and Lucy will go back to Hain and set out on a further adventure in order to prevent books disappearing from existence completely. I wonder what the journey will involve and whether it will engage me.

Forsyth has made a life in the world of his new wife. He has a daughter and a job that he enjoys. Though there is one person who spoils things for him, Elgar Reed.

But then Forsyth doesn’t have to worry about the Writer, because books have started to ‘pop’ out of existence and he and his family have ‘popped’ back to Hain!

Now they have to ‘quest’ to save both worlds and solve the riddle of why all the stars are disappearing.

Forsyth’s nephew , Wyndham, doesn’t seem overjoyed to see his uncle and remains mute throughout any attempts to engage him in conversation. Perhaps he resents Forsyth being around?

And Beval he just seems to bellow at Wyndham, why? Poor Wyndham!

Families are such difficult things to understand, especially when you don’t get to see them for a while. And then of course if that whole family gets thrown into an adventure, well it just makes sorting it out a bit more difficult, or easier!

Basically, it’s a good story, with twists and turns and introduced characters who are the ones like in Star Trek that you know are going to die! But overall it is a good story and I enjoyed it. I know that the post script has left an opening for a further story, but if it doesn’t happen, I won’t mind as I felt that this book wrapped things up nicely.

I preferred the writing style of this book over that of the first one. So the author is obviously getting settled in to their style. Well done and I toast your world building. The book is definitely worth reading, but I feel that you, the reader, may need to read the first book to get the full benefit of the tale. So read that first and tolerate any excesses you find there.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Forsyth Turn has finally become a hero—however reluctantly. But now that Lucy Piper has married him and they’ve started a family in her world, his adventuring days are behind him. Yet not all is as it should be. Beloved novels are disappearing at an alarming rate, not just from the minds of readers like Pip, but from bookshelves as well. Almost as if they had never been. Almost like magic.

Forsyth fears that it is his fault—that Pip’s childhood tales are vanishing because he, a book character, has escaped his pages. But when he and Pip are sucked back into The Tales of Kintyre Turn against their will, they realize that something much more deadly and dire is happening. The stories are vanishing from Forsyth’s world too. So Forsyth sets out on a desperate journey across Hain to discover how, and why, the stories are disappearing… before their own world vanishes forever.

In this clever follow-up to The Untold Tale, The Forgotten Tale questions what it means to create a legacy, and what we owe to those who come after us.

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The Untold Tale (The Accidental Turn Series, Book 1) by J M Frey

“Bootknife has flayed her very prettily. Artistic tendrils of bloody ivy are torn into the vellum of the young woman’s flesh.”

This was going to be a nice ‘other world’ tale full of interesting characters and amazing creature. With a twist somewhere to entice and intrigue me.

It actually wasn’t far off what I expected and I was enjoying the read. It follows the sedate and comfortable life of Forsyth Turn who is a lording in a small part of the country under a benevolent King. He enjoys taking care of his estate and the population in his care.

Then a young woman is brought to him, one who has been rescued and is in a ‘bad way’. He ensures that his healer takes care of her and takes the young woman into his home. As she heals Forsyth gets to know Lucy and finds that he likes having female company around in the Hall, and begins to think that it would be good to hear female laughter echoing through the rooms again. The populace start to talk of a betrothal, to his embarrassment!

There is a section almost halfway through the book that I found so off-putting that I nearly put the book to one side and didn’t finish it. So for that I was only going to give the book one star. However, I overcame my distaste for the unnecessary and overly explicit descriptions and managed to continue reading.

I was trepidatious about whether further scenes may be introduced but thankfully all further such scenes were tempered and I was content to read on and finish the book.

On the matter of ‘the end’, it seemed that I had reached it and then, really nicely it continued on, in a different vein. A nice pleasant twist at the end too. So, taking into account the bit in the middle, I am happy to award this book the star rating below.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Forsyth Turn is not a hero. Lordling of Turn Hall and Lysse Chipping, yes. Spymaster for the king, certainly. But hero? That’s his older brother’s job, and Kintyre Turn is nothing if not legendary. However, when a raid on the kingdom’s worst criminal results in the rescue of a bafflingly blunt woman, oddly named and even more oddly mannered, Forsyth finds his quaint, sedentary life is turned on its head.

Dragged reluctantly into a quest he never expected, and fighting villains that even his brother has never managed to best, Forsyth is forced to confront his own self-shame and the demons that come with always being second-best. And, more than that, when he finally realizes where Lucy came from and why she’s here, he’ll be forced to question not only his place in the world, but the very meaning of his own existence.

Smartly crafted, The Untold Tale gives agency to the unlikeliest of heroes: the silenced, the marginalized, and the overlooked. It asks what it really means to be a fan when the worlds you love don’t resemble the world you live in, celebrates the power of the written word, challenges tropes, and shows us what happens when someone stands up and refuses to remain a secondary character in their own life.

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Immortal Writers Immortal Writers Series Book 1 by Jill Bowers

“Liz looked at the clothes laid out for her in absolute horror. Leather? Wasn’t it bad enough that these nut jobs had kidnapped her and that they wanted her to kill someone? Now they wanted her to wear skin-tight leather?”

I think that this book was more likely to have been a thriller fantasy in my imagination, before I read it, that is.

Really it was a much softer story than I expected. It seemed to be aimed at younger readers (Young Adults) than the likes of me.

Liz has been on a promotional tour for her new book when she is kidnapped and whisked away to a place of amazement. Her kidnapper wants her to believe that her books have come to life and that her own world is at risk from the villain of her book. Why would she believe such a ridiculous story, even if some of the people where she is being held look exactly like the characters from her book! That’s just clever acting and expensive plastic surgery after all.

Then a fire breathing dragon comes after her and everything goes up in the air, literally. Liz meets more than just the characters in her books when she is invited to join the Immortal Writers, proper.

From that point on Liz fights her way to the end of her own story, with much loss of bodily fluids along the way (blood, sweat and tears)!

I do think that the author may have been feeling her way along in some places, as the writing became less well crafted and I could see the ‘writers’ hand’ in the storyline. Each step, breath, thought and action was laid out to be read, for example “Curtis nodded, straightened his shoulders, and hid his grief. Liz thought he was brave to be able to focus on his duty rather than the loss of his friend. Liz wondered why she wasn’t a wreck right now. She supposed it wasn’t real to her yet…”

And yet I found the whole concept of the story very compelling and engaging. I have read other novelists ‘first in a series’ books which have been of similar standard and they have GROWN so much in their writing as the series progressed. I fully expect Jill to do exactly the same. She ‘feels’ to be a great writer in the offing, to me. I am eagerly awaiting her next book in the series to see what happens next with The Immortal Writers.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

3/5 Stars [Really this warrants a 3.5, but the scoring system is either 3 or 4, so I have to give a 3] (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Young up-and-coming author Liz McKinnen has no idea that her life is about to change forever when she comes home from her first book tour. When she’s kidnapped and told by her captors that she has to kill her fantasy book’s antagonist, she thinks that she’s fallen into the hands of crazy, dangerous fans… until her antagonist sends a real, fire-breathing dragon after her.

Liz is quickly initiated into the Immortal Writers, a group of authors from throughout time whose words have given them eternal life, and whose prose is so powerful that it’s brought stories over from the Imagination Field into the Reality Field. As Liz meets authors such as William Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen, she has to learn how to control magic, fight dragons, and face her own troubled past before her power-hungry villain takes over the world. Will she survive the ultimate battle against the dragon lord whom she created?

A Note From the Publisher
Jill Bowers is a fantasy author and handbell composer. She attended Utah State University for their creative writing program. She loves all things nerdy and lives in Utah with her beloved dachshund, Jasmine.

The Reader by MK Harkins

“This looks like a normal neighborhood,” I said. “We’re back,” Devon shouted to the gatehouse guard. Dressed in a blue military uniform, the stocky male sentry wore a rifle slung over his shoulder. “I take it back. This is not normal.” “The guard is here for us. It’s important we have privacy.” Archer unrolled his window and flashed some sort of badge.”

I anticipated a futurist tale, though not too far in the future as it wasn’t based off world. Perhaps some telepathy and telekinesis, that sort of thing.

It started with Ann waking up on a beach, but thinking she was dead, or almost dead; until some kids come across her and shriek as she moves. Maybe she is a zombie? She comes around a bit more and realises that she needs to find somewhere safe. It is as she is planning a safe route off the beach that she is found by two young men who set about trying to help her.

Ann is uncertain about her entire situation and to compound things, she has completely lost her memory. Though when they ask her if she is a reader, she remembers a room of books and agrees that she likes to read.
From here Ann is taken by the two young men to a gated community and from there into safe haven where she is introduced to ‘family and friends’ and encouraged to feel at home, while she recovers her memory.

Once settled, the strange behaviour of those nearest to her within the community puzzles her, as they either seem to compete for her attention or warn her to stay away from certain individuals for her own safety. Other events put her in direct danger and she and others must fight for their lives.

I enjoyed the story. It reminded me of a couple of other ‘series’ that I have read and enjoyed: The Aliomenti Saga by Alex Albrinck and The girl in the box series by Robert J Crane. If you read and enjoyed either (or both) of these series, then I am sure that you will enjoy this one. If you haven’t, try them after reading this!

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One. She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos. As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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Holding by Graham Norton

“…her small hand pushing open the heavy wooden door with its flaking paint, the shadow on the floor moving slowly from side to side, the work boots with dirty soles and one lace untied, the hands that had patted her on the head that very morning, now hanging limply. The creaking of the rope. That was where her memories ended. She could never see his face.”

Life in the Irish village of Duneen is very quiet until a body is discovered. I wasn’t sure what I expected, but liked the idea of reading about Irish village life, so decided to give this novel a go.

The story centres mainly around PJ Collins the sargeant who works in the village. He is overweight and just longing to make prove that he is good at something. So when a body is discovered at the new housing estate being built in the village, he thinks this could possibly be his opportunity. Brid O’Riorden and Evelyn Ross are shaken up badly when it is said that the body could possibly be that of Tommy Burke, who they both loved when they were younger. Before he left the village for good.

But then everything changes. It isn’t Tommy and the body remains unidentified. Public interest wanes and life continues in the village. PJ continues to struggle with his work and his weight, Evelyn continues to struggle with her acceptance of how life has turned out and Brid continues to try and find a way to resolve her drinking problems and sort out her marriage and family circumstances. Until further information twist events in the villagers lives again and more drama unfolds.

It was an interesting novel, with lots of depth and intrigue, some sadness and grief, and a bit of mystery, which you would expect from a crime novel.
If you like to read mystery crime thrillers, then I am sure that you will like this.

I particularly liked the bit when a sickly Abigail responded to a question, she “stuck her arm up in the air and waved her fingers from side to side as if an invisible sock puppet was saying ‘no’.” It nearly made me laugh out loud, particularly as I have been caught doing exactly that!

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother-of-two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad, Holding is a masterful debut. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

A Note From the Publisher
HOLDING is not the novel I planned to write, at least, not at first. But following the old adage to write about what you know, Ireland seemed a good place to start, especially rural Ireland. I did have in mind a cast of characters living in and around a small village where their lives would reflect the priorities and concerns – land, marriage, religion – that are so present in that area still.

I found as I wrote more about the characters of Duneen that each of them had in some way become suspended in time – due to grief, due to unhappiness, due to fear of failure – and that they were all holding on to their own secrets.

I am hugely excited that HOLDING is now heading out into the world, and would love to hear what you think. Please do let me know on Twitter @Grahnort using the hashtag #readholding. I will be watching!

Best

Graham

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Rise of the Chosen Lifeblood Series #1 by Anna Kopp

“Like in a slow motion movie, he dropped to his knees, the bag falling out of his hand. Blood began to pool in a ring around his neck. He fell forward, his head sliding off and hitting the ground a moment before his body.”

I guessed this was going to be a zombie-style book with a twist – some don’t go on a killing spree! Other than that I had no idea what to expect.

The books starts with Sam Shields waking to an alarm. Only this isn’t your usual kind of alarm, this is one that is life-changing!

On waking for a second time, Sam has to move on after the events of the day before, she not only has an ex-boyfriend to deal with, she also gets her team assignment in the next few days, so after all that has happened, she moves into the barracks till she knows where she will go next.

Sam’s journey involves danger, reunion, kidnapping and death, for many of those around her and, possibly for Sam herself. Sam has more to lose than she realises, I think.

This is a well written tale, with an original twist on the zombie theme. I thought it was a little reminiscent of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series of books, so if you enjoyed those, definitely read this! I found it very enjoyable and compulsive reading.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Description:
In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

A Note From the Publisher
Anna Kopp was born in Russia and immigrated to the US when she was 11. She joined the US Army and lived in Georgia during her military career before settling down in Cleveland, Ohio. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in business but her true passion is writing. Anna is a wife and business partner to a software developer, and a mom to two rambunctious boys. A true geek at heart, Anna would love nothing more than to see her imagination become a part of something greater. Her debut novel, Rise of the Chosen, is the first installment in the “Lifeblood Series.”

Poison City by Paul Crilley

Don’t fear the reaper . . .’ ‘Nice song,’ mutters the dog. ‘Appropriate.’

I couldn’t resist a book that has a dog like a border terrier in it, especially one that drinks and talks. I liked the sound of the story too.

This is the story of Gideon Tao, also known as “London” and his magic spirit guide “dog” who looks a lot like a border terrier. London works for Delphic Division in Durban, South Africa. He is on a case when it takes a turn that puts him in a dilemma.

One of the suspects is the one who murdered his daughter and he means to see justice done, but what if it costs him his job or his life (or even destroys the world as we know it!).

The story is fast paced, intense and engaging. I felt like I was in Durban itself as it fell under the influence of the orisha and their plans to change the world.

There was no telegraphing of what was to come and I was ‘reading like a demon’ towards the end. I have already recommended this book to my friends and would extend that recommendation to you as you read this. Get this book and read this story. I am sure that you will enjoy it.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

5/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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The name’s Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things – finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I’m going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

I have two friends. The first is my boss, Armitage, a fifty-something DCI from Yorkshire who looks more like someone’s mother than a cop. Don’t let that fool you. The second is the dog, my magical spirit guide. He talks, he watches TV all day, and he’s a mean drunk.

Life is pretty routine – I solve crimes, I search for my daughter’s killer. Wash, rinse, repeat. Until the day I’m called out to the murder of a ramanga – a low-key vampire – basically, the tabloid journalist of the vampire world. It looks like an open and shut case. There’s even CCTV footage of the killer.

Except… the face on the CCTV footage? It’s the face of the man who killed my daughter. I’m about to face a tough choice. Catch her killer or save the world? I can’t do both.

It’s not looking good for the world.

Poison City is the first in a fantastical new series for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and Stephen King.

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