Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

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From Amazon.com

Summary

“The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver-deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can’t, and there’s nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school-Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she’s ever experienced. When Ben reveals he’s a werewolf, Avery still trusts him-at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she’s not the only one who can’t remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting-by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

So I received this book as a gift from someone so naturally I just had to read it, quickly. Getting a book from someone is the best thing ever because I love to read, so who needs jewelry. Give me a good book and I’m set.

In all honesty, I read this book in about 2-3 hours as it’s not a difficult read at all. I would classify it as younger YA as the story is much more simplistic, the writing is simple, and there are not tons of words on the page. Meaning it’s not written like Shōgun where the font is really small and so is the spacing – it is larger font and more space between the words.

One thing which I thought was really cool about this book was every time the word ‘moon’ showed up, it was written in red. I haven’t seen that before really, or not that I remember, so it was quite a nice touch and added an effect to the story.

As for the actual story itself, it was quite simple and there was some character development but it wasn’t terribly deep. This is, of course, because it was a younger YA book so the stories are not as complex as books for older readers but it still had a good story. Werewolves are always kind of interesting to read about. The ending took a turn I was not expecting and that was nice as well. I had this horrible feeling that the ending would be a little bit predictable but it definitely wasn’t.

The story, as a whole, was a good story and for a YA book it was good. As I am an older reader, I would really have liked to see a little bit more going on with the story such as some more explanations, maybe some more detailed interactions, less of the whole ‘I just met this cute boy, I’m 15 years old, and I’m hinting at sleeping with him but I’m not going to…or am I…”. It sometimes bugs me when that happens. I mean the character is not always clearly 15 or 16 or so because of things that happen so you could see them as being older, except during these moments of passion when she would think to herself how young she is and I’m here like “NO…STOP THE TRAIN!!!!!!! 15 YEAR OLDS SHOULD BE PLAYING OUTSIDE…NOT WANTING TO SLEEP WITH A BOY THEY MET 5 DAYS PREVIOUSLY!!!” I mean, I know it isn’t such a big deal, but it feeds into the constant culture that it doesn’t matter how long you know someone, sleeping with them is okay if you feel like you truly love them. Like come on, 24 hours ago Avery didn’t even think Ben would kiss her and then he did and then suddenly she’s ready to sleep with him. I did want to smack the character over that. That’s the only kind of aspect that made it maybe a little bit more older YA. They didn’t sleep together, but they kept hinting at it. And no 15 year old should be getting these ideas into their heads.

Overall, it was a decent werewolf YA book and I would recommend it. Would I have liked more from the story? Yes. But for a younger reader this would suit them perfectly. I haven’t been reading many YA books recently so it took me a while to adjust back to that writing style with the simpler story lines, but for the book it was good.

It had a beautiful red cover and caught my attention as soon as it was given to me.

Do check this one out (purchase it here) and let me know what you think.

Until next time, happy reading!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

a_monster_callsSummary

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

Holy…moses. This book was….wow. First off, you have to read this book in one sitting. It isn’t terribly long and isn’t a hard read at all, but you really can’t put it down because of what the book is about. It is not a book you can start and continue reading later because you always have questions and need to know what comes next and then the book just loses the power it has over you if you stop reading it half way. It HAS to be read at once and it will only take two hours of your life, so do it! Trust me.

The book honestly was nothing like I thought it was going to be. It was amazing, and powerful, and beautiful and holy shit did I need a box of tissues at the end. Just a warning. It’s not a happy book like many books are with a neat ending that makes you go ‘wow, that was such a good book’. This is the type of book that has you sitting there crying and questioning everything you know going ‘wow….that was…..SUCH a good book’. Just trust me when I say that you need a box of tissues handy and an empty room to cry in after.

The story was amazing! LIKE WHAT?! It is YA but I would classify this as older YA and honestly almost put it into the adult category because of the story and the kind of emotional levels it was operating on. Someone 16 may not understand everything going on emotionally but they would get the story while a 50 year old would completely be able to connect with the little boy in the book.

I thought The Monster was the coolest character as well. Think of like the BFG but instead of it being in a fantastical world, it was based in the real world and The Monster was…well it is just too hard to explain. Read it and it will all make sense to you.

I probably would have never read a book like this, or really noticed it because of the simple cover, but because the movie is coming out soon, I had to give it a read and I am so glad I did.

The cover of the book is beautiful and simple and that is one thing I really like about the book. There are illustrations within the book but instead of them being all colored and fancy, they are very simple and black and white. It just adds this kind of dream quality to the book!

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It was just something I had never experienced before and has me sitting there in awe of what was done with the book. The idea was created by Siobhan Dowd, who is a very impressive woman. She spent 20 years as a human rights campaigner for PEN as well as Amnesty International but she passed away at 47 years of age. Patrick Ness was then asked to write this book which was her idea and he did such an amazing job.

There is so much character development and you connect with Conor so well and are able to feel his pain.

Would I read this book again? Not for a few years probably as this is the kind of book you cannot read over and over again. Maybe you get a different message from it every time or find something new in it but it isn’t like a book you can pick up and just read. Besides the emotions which this book brings up, you just need time between readings.

I absolutely loved this book and cannot rave highly enough about it and you MUST check it out, especially before the movies comes out. The movie looks amazing and looks like it will stick extremely close to the book, which I am very happy of, but you have to read the book first.

The trailer is below, but keep in mind there are a few differences and you may think that the movie trailer looks a little Hollywood-ized, like they made it bigger and such. But in all honesty, it looks pretty damn close to the book and I’m very impressed.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Purchase the book here.

Happy Reading!!!!

Don’t forget the tissues.

 

Gideon’s War by Howard Gordon

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Summary

“GIDEON DAVIS, whose behind-the-scenes negotiating skills have earned him the role of peacemaker in conflicts around the globe, knows more about hush-hush discussions in Capitol corridors than he does about hand-to-hand combat. But his more practical, tactical skills come into play when he’s called on by family friend and government bigwig Earl Parker to chaperone a rogue agent from Southeast Asia to D.C. The agent, Tillman Davis, has promised to turn himself in— but only to his brother, Gideon.

Although the two brothers have been estranged for years, Gideon cannot fathom how his brother could have turned into so ruthless a man. But when the plan for Tillman’s surrender goes awry and Earl Parker is taken hostage, Gideon is forced to embrace his dark side in order to evade hostile locals in war-torn Mohan to make his way to the Obelisk—the multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art oil rig that has been seized by terrorists led by Tillman himself. It is with the help of oil rig manager Kate Murphy that Gideon launches an unlikely one-man rescue.”

From Amazon.com

Review

I really did enjoy this book and read it surprisingly fast as well, considering I don’t have tons of time to just sit down and read at the moment.

A little bit about the author…

Howard Gordon—the longtime executive producer of the hit TV series 24—makes his fiction debut with a tale of political intrigue and international terrorism. Gideon Davis has just 48 hours to bring his rogue agent brother in—before a twisted global conspiracy turns deadly.

-From Amazon.com

So, with that in mind, this entire book felt like a perfect movie and I think that it would have made a perfect movie as well and hope that maybe one day a movie will be made out of this.

It had a lot of political kind of stuff going on, but not so much so that if you didn’t understand anything about how the U.S. government works you wouldn’t understand it. Most of the jargon used was to just help illustrate the situation but it didn’t make the reading any more difficult.

There wasn’t exactly tons of character development in this book but it didn’t really bother me because of the story. There was lots of action happening and it kept you interested. There were terrorists, there were Delta Teams, there were massive storms, there were epic underwater dives, there were oil rigs. I mean it had it all. It was almost like something out of a James Bond movie and I absolutely loved it. Since the author writes for TV, he knows what people like to read and he, honestly, nailed it.

While I wouldn’t consider this good writing, because the sentences were smaller and it didn’t really take much concentration to understand the story, the story itself was very entertaining and made me wanting to find out what happened. He had many suspenseful moments, where he would end the chapter, and then it may change back to Washington so you had to read that chapter before you could find out what happened back on the oil rig or something like that.

There wasn’t exactly tons of violence, except towards the end and it was only a little graphic, but decently realistic to how maybe a jihadist would treat a prisoner.

I also really liked how it wasn’t a perfect ending. Not everyone survived and not all of the larger characters survived either which was quite a change. It wasn’t a perfect and neat package in the end.

The cover was beautiful, as you hopefully saw either on my snapchat around when I started it (4th of July) or on my instagram, and if not, here it is again.

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I purchased this book for like 1 cent in a thrift store, with tons of other small books and it was a great bargain. I probably would have bought this book if I saw it in Barnes and Nobel or borrowed it from my library as this is exactly the kind of book that I love to read.

So I really do suggest checking it out. It’s more of an adult book but I could also qualify this as young adult. It’s more adult just because of the story idea with the political kind of stuff, but as a reading level, probably older YA.

Purchase it here!

And let me know what you think about it!

Happy Reading!

Diary of a Madman by Nikolai Gogol

Summary

“Diary of a Madman is a farcical short story by Nikolai Gogol. Along with The Overcoat and The Nose, Diary of a Madman is considered to be one of Gogol’s greatest short stories. The tale centers on the life of a minor civil servant during the repressive era of Nicholas I. Following the format of a diary, the story shows the descent of the protagonist, Poprishchin, into insanity. Diary of a Madman, the only one of Gogol’s works written in first person, follows diary-entry format.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

So, I don’t think I would have ever read this short story but I had to read it for school and I have to say, that I really did enjoy it. While it definitely was a little confusing in a few places here and there, overall, it was quite enjoyable and a nice read.

During the beginning of the short story, it seemed pretty normal with everything which was happening. Poprishchin seemed like an average guy working in a really horrible job (even though he thought it was kinda decent) but as soon as he was heading to work, a few pages in, that was when reality started to get distorted and you realized that something was up. Dogs talked and he was able to understand them with ease and it seemed that not only did they talk, but they wrote as well, and wrote letters.

From that moment on it slowly started to show that the main protagonist was slightly off his rocker as he thought that he had a change at getting together with his bosses daughter though she was much younger than him and in a much higher societal class and he was much older than her and in a low societal class. As the story wore on, it became clear that the main character developed some mental disorder of some sort because things he believed and said clearly weren’t that of a normal person who knew where they stood either in society or knew about themselves and how they worked.

Almost towards the end, Poprishchin believed that he was the King of Spain due to some events and that was the turning point in the short story. I won’t say what happened in the end, as you have to read it, but it definitely ended quite interestingly.

It is a fairly quick read so sitting down and just diving into it shouldn’t take too much of your time, an hour, maybe two tops. I do recommend it as it was quite good and overall thought that it was one of the better reads that I’ve had to do for English class. It did have moments of being a little confusing with his thoughts as it was written in journal style, but not so much so that you couldn’t follow it.

Click here to read it online and enjoy! (Yes the link says Memoirs of a Madman but the official title is Diary of a Madman)

Let me know what you think.

One of the many covers offered.

Gol (The Legends of Ansu) by J.W. Webb

Gol Book CoverSummary

“An island beset by the Sea God’s wrath. Once a mighty kingdom, now six provinces torn apart by treacherous barons. In one province, two young lovers strive to stay together when all else prises them apart.

Lissane and Erun must survive to guide their people through the coming storm. The odds are stacked against them. Erun, dreamer and fool, is chosen for a dark path, whilst Lissane is given away by her father the baron to wed the brutal son of a rival ruler. Meanwhile, at the far side of the world, a sorcerer has freed the fire demon, Ashmali, setting off a chain of events that could ultimately bring about Gol’s long foretold ruin.

Caught between rising seas, civil war, and approaching fire, the continent’s time is fast running out. Gol is book one in the forthcoming Legends of Ansu series. Within lies an epic tale of love, hatred, vengeance and destruction. In Gol, the high courage of a few individuals is all that stands against the will of fickle gods and the treachery of men.”

From Amazon.com

Review

This was a fantastic book! I probably never would have found this book had it not been for the Books & The Bear book tour. I never really got into the Lord of the Rings series and was never really into that kind of story line where there were tons of characters and epic quests. I don’t know, I always found them kind of cliche. However, this book was really really good and overall was highly enjoyable.

First thing I will mention is that it had a LOT of characters all from different provinces and kingdoms and such. I wasn’t aware of this, but at the end of the book (I read the ebook as that’s what’s emailed for book tours and such), was the list of characters which I wish I knew about before I started the book because it would have helped keep track of who was who a little bit more. I would sometimes read and think I was reading about one character and something drastic would happen and I’d be like ‘no, he would never do that’ and then I’d realize that it was a completely different character than who I thought it was. That wasn’t a massive problem but it meant I would sometimes need to go back to see what I had just read again or take a few minutes to straighten out who was who exactly.

With all of these characters, there was a lot of character development as well. Sometimes it was for the better and sometimes it wasn’t. Which was definitely nice because it wasn’t a  fairy-tale ending. That helped to make it more realistic and kept you on your toes a lot more.

The next thing I wanted to mention is the age group which this book is for. I would definitely recommend this book for older readers due to the fact that there was sex, language and a lot of violence.

The sex was not exactly graphic, but there was a fair amount of it and it was quite….I guess the word would be violent. In the world, as well as times, that the book was set, women weren’t necessarily, well usually, were not married to men whom they loved. So with Lissanes love life, her sex scenes were generally a little more along the lines of rape, as that is kind of what it was like (think Game of Thrones for those of you who watch it). Also a lot of the men were pig and so they would just have sex with women left, right and center without caring about what they did. So in that aspect it was kind of graphic but it was true to what it would be like though.

The language wasn’t excessive but with certain characters, to highlight the fact that they were rude and uncivilized, they may use more foul language than others. So there were moments when words were used that definitely were not appropriate for younger audiences.

For the violence, there was a lot of that. Whether it be from torture scenes to just general fighting. It generally wasn’t terribly graphic, but there was lots of threats of removing the male member from people, as well as various torture scenes that weren’t that vivid but if you’re like me who reads and really gets into the book, your mind makes up wonderful images, so in that sense it was kind of brutal.

I personally didn’t mind the sex, language and violence as it added character to the book. In my opinion it stayed quite true to what the medial sort of times would have been like with rivaling kingdoms and magical kinds of creatures.

And that’s another thing. There was magic and sorcery and demons but it wasn’t something that took up the entire book. It was a theme that kept appearing and it wasn’t really a massive thing until book two (the book was split into two books). Then Erun went on an epic quest to find his love. That kind of reminded me of The Princess Bride, in a few aspects now that I look back on it while I write this review.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was about 550 pages so it took me a little while to read, but I finished it and thought it was pretty creative and a nice change from all of the other stuff out there.

I highly do recommend it. But a warning. Prepare yourself for a fantastical journey. You may just encounter fire demon along the way.

Happy reading!!!

Click here to purchase the book.

Gol by J.W. Webb Book Tour!!!!

Book Tour header

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Book Title: Gol
SeriesThe Legends of Ansu
Author Name: J.W. Webb
Author WebsiteLegendsofansu.com
Purchase from Amazon: Gol (Legends of Ansu) (Volume 1)
Book Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis of Book: Gol. A continent on the brink of destruction. Once a mighty kingdom, now six provinces torn apart by treacherous barons. In one province two young lovers strive to stay together when all else prises them apart. Lissane and Erun must survive to guide their people through the coming storm. The odds are stacked against  them. Erun, dreamer and fool, is chosen for a dark path. Whilst Lissane is given away by her father
the baron to wed the brutal son of a rival ruler.
J.W. Webb HeadshotMeanwhile, at the far side of the world a sorcerer has freed the fire demon, Ashmali, setting off a chain of events that could ultimately bring about Gol’s long foretold ruin. Caught between rising seas, civil war, and approaching fire the continent’s time is fast running out.  Gol features beautiful sketches and maps by Tolkien illustrator, Roger Garland. It opens the doors on a new epic fantasy series titled Legends of Ansu. Within its content lies an sweeping tale of love, hatred, vengeance and destruction. In Gol the high courage of a few individuals is all that stands against the will of fickle gods and treachery of men.

Books in the series
Reviews:

“I read a lot of fantasy and mythology books, so this is a genre I’m familiar with. Having read another of J.W. Webb’s books recently – “The Haven” and really enjoying it, I was curious to see how he would deliver in this one “Gol – The Legends of Ansu”. Mr. Webb is unarguably a very talented writer, but more than that he genuinely impressed me with his thorough world-building and sheer creativeness on many levels. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books, and although I appreciate literary influences (as is felt here as well), when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace! Some of the writing was downright lyrical in the simple elegance of the prose, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion. For such a long book I finished it in less than a week, and went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. I was hoping for a different ending, but it was bittersweet (and more powerful this way) nonetheless. A must read for fans of high fantasy. (5 stars)”

“I really enjoyed “Gol” by author J.W. Webb, even though “epic” fantasy isn’t usually one of my more preferred genres (don’t dislike it, just don’t generally gravitate). But I recently read another book by this author, “the Haven” , and I like watching “Game of Thrones” so I gave it a shot. I was really impressed! I really liked the drawings (and the map), and thought that Mr. Webb did such a wonderful job with the descriptions of the world and the different characters. There are SO many of them it’s hard to keep track (there is a useful guide at the end), but I did fall in love with Lissane and Erun and was so shocked at some things that happened. Emotionally engaging and with lots of action. Some language, especially towards the last half (book 2) but other than that it feels pretty suitable for mature teens on up. I had a great time reading this! (5 stars)”

“This book was great… lots of fun to read and very creative. Describing it is a hard task! All sorts of interesting characters, creatures, humans, and non-humans, and a terrific mix of
fantasy, adventure, and danger and magic. Although I did think the beginning started off kind of slow until I got more of a feel about this new world and the characters and their backgrounds,  once things got moving along I really got hooked. I liked that it was so descriptive that we can really put ourselves inside Gol and the various character’s perspectives. Fabulous narrative prose and the language was very authentic. Recommend for fantasy fans who want a fun, literary read. Looking forward to the next one of the Legends of Ansu!”

“Fast-paced, well written and creative, “Gol” (Legends of Ansu book 1) from J.W. Webb is an absolute must-read for fans of novels such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Merlin, Mists of Avalon, etc. “Gol” holds its own with the top-notch writing and plot structure, and an exciting, varied cast of colorful characters and plenty of magic and thrills to go around. There are some familiar tropes here (as with most fantasy), however, I feel Mr. Webb did a great job of bringing in a unique voice and making the story wholly his own, and giving it a fresh feel. I didn’t feel like I’ve read this million times before. A few things, I thought at times there was way too much “telling” instead of showing. Not too bad, but some parts dragged toward the middle. But an engrossing story with near perfect editing, and I’m ready for the next one! (4-5 stars)”

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