Feeding Fersia (Conguise Chronicles, Book 2)

Title: Feeding Fersia (Conguise Chronicles, Book 2)

Author: L.S. O’Dea

Genres: Fantasy | Horror | Science Fiction

Format: Mobi

Length: 171 pages | 2734 locations

Source: Author

Rating: 4.75/5

 

Premise:

McBrid is a scientist in Conguise’s lab. He made a grave mistake and in order to survive the Professor’s wrath he needs to create another monstrosity. But this experiment will be quite different. Does he have the stomach to go through with it?

Review:

Hello, ladies and gents!

I know, it’s been ages since I posted a review. That’s because it’s been ages since I actually read a book. As I posted previously my life has taken quite a turn over the past year and I haven’t found the time or energy to read but the author was kind enough to offer me this book to read and review and I am so happy that she did.

Well I have to say that Ms O’Dea did it again. This short book kept me entertained through and through. I loved every single character and their evolution. The story was touching, thrilling, exciting and although the ending was very well achieved and timed I was left wanting more because I was so enthralled by the story and wanted to know what came next for all of the characters. This is a quick read that will grasp you and not let go. I am extremely excited to see what comes next.

Please note that this is a spin off of the main series Lake of Sins and I believe you should read that in order to understand the world building and evolution better, otherwise you will not understand certain references.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from 7th to 11th May 2018
GR Review

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Whispers From the Past (Lake of Sins #5)

Title: Whispers From the Past (Lake of Sins #5)

Author: L.S. O’Dea

Genres: Fantasy | Horror | Paranormal | Post-apocalyptic | Speculative Fiction | Thriller

Length: 508 pages | locations

Source: Author

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

After Trinity’s betrayal, Jethro will stop at nothing to make her pay.
Hugh uncovers secrets that make him break his agreement with Meesus.
And Trinity needs to finish this war, even if she lost both the boy of her dreams and the man of her future.

Review:

I found this one a bit slow to pick up, particularly the first part. But it was good to see the characters evolve.
Also, the bits with the forest witch were quite interesting and I enjoyed seeing how her prophecies unfolded. Secrets began being unveiled and I was captured by how the characters handled this new information.
The war does indeed end but there is much left to deal with, so I am looking forward to the next book.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Dec 29th to Jan 13th, 2017
GR Review

Betrayed (Lake Of Sins, #4)

Title: Betrayed (Lake Of Sins, #4)

Author: L.S. O’Dea

Genres: Fantasy | Horror | Paranormal | Post-apocalyptic | Speculative Fiction | Thriller

Length: 513 pages | locations

Source: Author

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.25/5

Premise:

As the war between the Allied Classes and Almightys progress, Trinity tries to assert her place in the process, though Hugh keeps pushing her way, while struggling with her feelings for Jethro and Hugh.
In the meantime, Jethro’s changes escalate and he is in love with the wild. He has trouble reigning his instincts, both to fight and to mate. Especially when all he wants is Trinity.

Review:

I have to admit that I enjoyed this book less than the others because there was quite an emphasis on romance. There was plenty of tension and I felt for Trinity and how so many misunderstandings would keep happening, all because of something she couldn’t control. However, after a while I just wanted something more.

Still, I enjoyed the book quite a lot. The struggle between classes, the discoveries Hugh makes and each character’s personal struggles really make me want to know what happens next.

Please don’t be discouraged as I am sure that the things that turned me off are the ones that will attract quite a big audience.

As usual this book read really fast, I enjoyed knowing new parts of the world and I cannot wait for the next instalment!

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jul 5th to July 10th, 2017
GR Review

Hangman’s Army (Lake of Sins #3)

Title: Hangman’s Army (Lake of Sins #3)

Author: L.S. O’Dea

Genres: Fantasy | Horror | Paranormal | Post-apocalyptic | Speculative Fiction | Thriller

Length: 565 pages | 7940 locations

Source: Author

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4/5

Premise:

Book 3 of the Lake of Sins takes place four years after the events of the previous one. While High Hugh Truent was in prison for claiming that all classes were genetically similar, the world outside changed radically. A war is looming… and the allied classes need Hugh.

Review:

When I first looked up the book details I thought whoa, 565 pages, that is going to take me a while. But it went by so fast! I never imagined I would finish in just three days.

I cannot say this enough, L.S. O’Dea is such a talented writer. The pace is relentless but that does not mean that the world and character development is not satisfying, on the contrary. There is a lot going on but it is quite easy to follow and it only made me want to know what happened next.

It’s a YA book, not my favourite genre, so there will always be things I don’t particularly like as the characters end up sounding too dramatic for my taste. Trinity ticked me off a few times but I enjoy to see her keep growing.

There were quite a few repetitions – a lot of disgusted looks, for instance, and the way Hugh kept correcting mother to Sarah and father to General Truent when he found out the truth just felt forced and overdone, just like the excessive compliments on both Trinity and Hugh. I feel that their actions say enough, we don’t need to be told several that Trinity is brave and honest, even through the voice of another character, or that Hugh really doesn’t want more deaths on his conscience.

All in all I had a really good time reading this. Some parts made me laugh out loud, which earned me quite a few puzzled looks on the bus ride home, while others had me biting my nails. Some scenes were just so tense that I figuratively stood on my toes.

I can honestly say this is amongst the best YA reads I have stumbled upon and encourage you to pick up these books. This series has all the ingredients to become an epic.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jan 25th to Jan 28th, 2017
GR Review

Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1)

Title: Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1)

Author: Tony Bertauski

Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal

Format: Mobi

Length: 70 pages | 688 locations

Source: Author Newsletter / Promotion on Amazon

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Premise:

Drayton does not know why he is the way he is. He only knows what he is compelled to do, which is to take human essence.
To balance his nature, he tries to atone by honouring his victims’ dying wish.

Review:

I absolutely love Tony Bertauski’s ability to come up with interesting new concepts. Even if they are not absolutely new, he has a way of recreating them into something unique.

Drayton the Taker is no exception. I was immediately taken by the story. It is so much more than a vampire’s tale, though there are similarities.
The way Drayton was introduced was incredibly well achieved and it set the pace for the narrative’s development.

It is remarkable how the author manages to depict each character so well in such a small story but the fact is we get a crystal clear idea of who they are and what moves them.

I was intrigued by the change in Drayton’s behaviour considering his past. I would have liked to know what triggered his sense of morale, but I can only hope the sequel(s) will explain that.

This is a brilliant introduction to a mysterious, dangerous character, who seems to also have a soft side and once again Bertauski does not disappoint.

Note:
This book is currently free on Amazon; click here!

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read on Nov 10th, 2016
GR Review

Lake of Sins for Free!

Hello, lovely people!
I hope your weekend is going well.
I have just the thing to make it even sweeter! I have just learned that you can get the first two books in the Lake of Sins series by L. S. O’Dea for FREE!

I thoroughly enjoyed these books and if you are into YA I am positive you will enjoy them even more than I did.
They are just so imaginative and fast-paced that it might be just the thing for your weekend binge reading.
Feel free to check out my reviews:

Escape (#1)

Escape (#1)

Escape (#1)

Secrets in Blood (#2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the yummy part. Free fabulous fantasy, you say? Well how can I get them then??

You can download Lake of Sins: Escape from any of the major retailers and then go here to get the second book free: http://lsodea.com/?page_id=243

Or you can go here: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/4htqW

Instafreebie will send you the first book and the author will send you an email with a link to get the second one.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss this opportunity!

Ozarium (Transitional Delusions #2)

Title: Ozarium (Transitional Delusions #2)

Author: Brick Marlin

Genres: Horror | Paranormal | Post-apocalyptic | Thriller

Length: 281 pages | 5511 locations

Source: Author

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3/5

Premise:

After the Shift, a new world arises from the ashes.
However, new changes are about to arrive and they won’t be pleasant. Two boys strive to make the difference.

Review:

I have just finished reading Ozarium and I have to admit it is a difficult one for me to review.

There is no question that once again Brick Marlin succeeded in creating a very twisted world with new concepts or reformed ones that will chill you to the bone. However, I had a few issues with the book.

First of all, being part of a series, I had hoped to see more of a connection to the first book. Instead I only got the first chapter and a couple of references at the very end. While that can be a good thing because it means the book can be read as a standalone, I really wanted to know how exactly one world morphed to the other. For instance, if all the adults had been killed and the children turned to rats, where did the new population come from? When Slader explains Overcast he says there were survivors but where? I recall the first book ending with only Martha standing up. How far does this event reach? Also, why were there suddenly now two suns?

Secondly, I have to admit I was lost with all the characters and the names for what had took place before – Overcast, Ozarium, Shift, The Reckoning, Whethersphere (not sure if that’s spelled right) or the role of the four gods. To this point I do not really grasp all the concepts, particularly the last ones. I got that after the Shift there was Overcast, and then Slader turned the colony into Ozarium but no clue about the other ones. That is my bad though, I don’t remember much from the first book and I should not have expected this one to explain it all over again. Also, most likely the others will be further developed in the next books of the series, so I suppose I am just impatient!

However, my main two issues were the pace and the writing.

For a long time I felt I was being info-dumped. For almost the entire first half of the book, we are introduced to an array of characters and commercials that help us understand the dramatic changes the world has suffered. While they served to get me used to all the craziness going on, nothing seemed to be actually developing, and I did crave for some action.
Then Jonas wins the lottery and things start to get interesting, although there is a lot that did not make sense to me, not only in what happened but in how characters reacted to it.

Regarding the writing, that was really my main problem. I don’t mean the language. Actually, Marlin was able to create a very interesting dialect, with influences from several decades, I believe, and a whole lot of imagination. However, I did feel that, for example, when the two main child characters were speaking, they did not sound their age. I get that the slang and stuff was different but in some situations the words they used made them sound much more mature than what would sound natural for their age. I had that feeling of unnatural speech with just about all characters and instead of finding it creepy and going with the story I have to admit I felt uninterested.

Just a couple of very small examples, there were others that could bring my point across better but sadly I did not make notes: “Would you rather be in pain with a sun burn when both suns go down?”. We had already been told there were now two suns (though no explanation as to why), so why not say ‘when the suns go down’?
Or “Don’t get grumpy because I took you away from drinking (…) laced with that drug called goose(…) or (…)as one of those zombie creatures called schizos!. Saying things are ‘called’ something makes me feel the characters and myself are somehow out of the narrative, that these things they are talking about are not intricate to the world but something apart.
I think that this one I managed to save best explains what I am trying to convey, this feeling of disconnection and unrelatable speech: Fred snorted. “Oh, you just don’t know, Wilbur. Guess we all learn from our mistakes in life.” “You’re right. I’m not perfect either, so don’t be too hard on yourself.” “Okay.”

On the other hand, while things got a whole lot more exciting towards the last third of the book, one other thing stood out that I had noticed before: at times the narrative was overpowered by dialogues where while they were taking place everything else seemed to pause. For instance, on a couple of occasions, a few characters are in very tricky situations and instead of trying to get out of them they just seem to stand there catching up and only when they are done to they go ‘ok, let’s try and get out of this’. I was like… So the bad guys just wait for them to talk things through? I don’t get it. Instead of ‘x character searches y part of place they are trapped in’ or something, we’d just get snorts and grins and stuff. There wasn’t that feeling of urgency that would fully have gripped my attention.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed what I read because the fact is Brick Marlin created a pretty darn awesome world with this book. Some things are truly shocking and I wonder how anyone could come up with it. Appliances having Tourette Syndrome is just about the most innocent example I can give without spoiling the read for you but trust me, there is a lot here that I found pretty macabre and twisted. Some concepts were not entirely new but the way the author meshed them together made for a truly horrific vision of a post-apocalyptic world, where the values have completely shifted. And there are so many interesting developments. It’s just that I wish there was a better pace to the story, the writing had enveloped me more and hopefully a clearer connection to the first book, since this is a series.
Also, it needs major editing services. There are redundancies such as rectified the world right or also lived down in this corridor as well, several repetitions of the exact same expressions to explain something, wrong verb tenses like “Where was he?” she spoke aloud. and sequences where things played out differently before than they are told later. Even the Epilogue is called Prologue, for some reason.

I still recommend it, but not for everyone. This is something that I believe will only really appeal to fans of truly dark, macabre stuff and who do not mind not being able to connect to characters.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Oct 1st to Oct 9th, 2016
GR Review