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Bounce up High!

Trampolining with Dragons
An Urban Fantasy Event:Dragons and Other Mythical Creatures Book #3
Ramy Vance & SW Clarke
Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Myths,
Keep Evolving Studios
(25 Mar. 2020)

What does a girl do when the it turns out the monster who killed her family ISN'T the worst thing out there?

Tara has finally cornered the vampire-bastard who killed her family, only to face a cold hard truth. This monster isn't the only thing that goes bump in the night. There is something far worse out there.

Choose the lesser monster.

There is a great evil - one of the original evils, actually - and it also has Tara's vampire in it's sinful sites. Normally Tara would tell this new evil to get in line ... the vampire is her's to kill. But even she cannot deny that if this new evil gets its way, things would get a lot worse for the world. As in apocalyptically so...

To destroy it, Tara must fight by the vampire's side.

But joining forces with her greatest enemy may prove to be too much to bear, especially when he revenge she craves so deeply is almost within her grasp.

Ch 1 starts ‘every act was a story, and every story should start with a bang.’

And chapter 1 literally started with a bang – explosions – after this statement.

And I really like books that know how they should start. You need to be lured into the story by hook or crook – sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly – but each story must find a way to reach into the reader’s brain and make them want to read on.

Think about when you go into a book shop.

Or to Amazon for a book.

The first thing you see is a book cover. Bright or loud or weird or colourful or fun. Attraction 1.

Attraction 2. Comes with the blurb. On the back. Underneath. Inside the front cover. Wherever it is. It must hook you into the next stage.

And then there is the author. Attraction 3.

Attraction 4. Comes with either the opening paras or the final paras depending on which type of reader you are. Or you may already be sold. But then you can be seriously disappointed as I so often am, when I go through at least the first 2 points and then, whether or not I recognised the author, I read the opening paragraphs and/or chapter. you have been sucked in – like so many films where they show you the best bits in the trailers and the rest is nah… blah …

This series is far from that. S Clarke sold the books to me in her style and content and humour as well as her heroine. Writing with Ramy she works well.

I have read the series so far and the next in line is on order. Oh and yes, there is a part when she does go on a trampoline with a Dragon!

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Let ’em Talk…

Night's Gift: The Adventure Begins Book Cover Night's Gift: The Adventure Begins
Of Cats And Dragons Book 1
Carol E. Leever, Camilla Ochlan
Fantasy, YA, Fairy tales
Independently published
(7 Dec. 2018)
kindle

Omen is a young warrior with a knack for finding trouble. Nobody's surprised when he unwittingly makes a deal with an undead alchemist. In over his head, Omen has to band together with the notorious prince of Hex to battle bloodthirsty giants, devious Night Dwellers, and arcane magic — all while trying to survive in the city's infamous arena fights.

But when Omen accidentally frees a talking cat, total disaster can't be averted.

In the shadows of the city,  an ancient evil awaits.

Can our young heroes protect the cat and the people of Hex, or will they end up as an undead nightmare's main course?

I started reading this book and then went on and bought the rest of the 7 book series!

Technically, this is a set of stories for younger adults or older children, in the same way Harry Potter was aimed that way but found an adult audience too. So can this series. Some parts are quite horrific and could give nightmares to younger more impressionable children so be careful especially in book 5 where Sable describes her life in the country of N’vel.

I loved all the books but especially the cats of course. Not just the various sizes but also the way they talked.

Now we have a talking cat too. Unfortunately she only speaks ‘cat’ but nonetheless she can tell you when she wants to go outside, sit on your lap or accompany her to her lunch – yes we have walk with her to her food. Just like a Princess she needs her servants and her maids. And whenever we have been away, she will tell us in great detail what has happened and who she has seen out the window while she has waited for us to come back – she waits in our window for this and knows the sound of our suitcases so she can meet us at the front door and give us a series of complaints that we left her.

So magical cats that can actually speak several languages was great fun and I am waiting now for the authors to write the stories of how the cats left their own land and found their humans. As at least one is a Prince there must be much to tell and the Fairies did kneel to them…

So yes, please read and enjoy these totally fantastical books.

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The Red Horseman

War
(The Four Horsemen)
Laura Thalassa
Fairy Tales , Myths & Fairy Tales Low Fantasy
Independent
11 Jul 2019

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all. The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp. Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist. However, if there’s one thing Miriam has learned, it’s that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.

War: 2nd horseman of the Apocalypse

War (The Four Horsemen Book 2)

Now you know that there has to be a happy  ending by default, but getting there can be quite traumatic. Especially here where War is the male in question, and clearly modelled on a Tartar Warlord with Horde. The author says that the languages are based on ancient ones but garbled a little. I confess, I hadn’t even given that a thought. Good job the author knows her languages!

I had been waiting for this book to come out and was disappointed. I had hoped it would be longer , more like the previous ones, and for me, the actions were somewhat repetitive. See a city. Send in the cavalry. Send in the infantry. Sack and rape and loot.

For me a little real strategy would have been a bonus (see  chess or medieval warfare or Sun Tzu); some real sieges; some war engines; some mining of walls etc etc would have added to the story; plus the whole field burning behind the army and so on. It seemed to me that the author had not read enough, or lacked knowledge of, warfare and strategy.

And I didn’t connect with the heroine.

So I am not sure whether to give it a 3 or a 2. Shame.

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Magic comes when it is night-time

Magic after Dark
multi
mythology, fantasy, folklore
Wetknee Books
(4 Mar. 2019)
kindle

Dive into the darker side of magic

Enter the underbelly of city life, where werewolves, demons, and vampires stalk the streets. These six bestselling urban fantasy novels plus bonus novella will submerge you in a page-turning world of modern magic.

Half Wolf by Aimee Easterling: When half-werewolf Fen is cast out of her home pack, she and an unlikely ally are forced to shore up her waning power in an effort to save half-shifters everywhere.

Unquiet Souls by Christine Pope: When the hosts of the new Project Demon Hunters show investigate a demon-infested mansion, evil follows Audrey Barrett home...and she learns why her co-host is the last man she can trust.

Dark Hunt by Kim Richardson: Tasked with tracking down a demon that's killing humans, hunter Rowyn is forced to partner with an angel-born warrior who has an ulterior motive. But Rowyn's own dark secret could upend everything...

A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain: Madison actively avoids her soul-sight—until she witnesses ethereal monsters feasting on a stranger's soul...and the monsters notice her. Thrust into a dangerous new world, Madison must master her atrophied abilities fast if she has any hope of survival.

The Wolf Within by M.J. Scott: Ashley Keenan just wants to be normal. But then her ex-lover, now werewolf, turns up with a lead on the vampire who murdered her family. To survive, she might just have to leave normal behind and embrace her inner monster.

Vampire Midnight by Gary Jonas: Kelly Chan agrees to kill a vampire, but finds herself under his spell. How do you kill something you've been commanded to protect?

Sylphide by K. Gorman: When a private investigator breaks into Allish Statia's apartment and threatens her with a gun, she is able to use her Wind Elemental powers to subdue the man—but he is only part of something much bigger. Something that wants the destruction of her, her husband, and every single Mage in the city.


A set of 7 stories – with 2 particular stories by authors that I followed up into their series.

The first stories were excellent – and really only 1 was not so good, Sylphide. I liked the Kelly Chan series, and Aimee Easterlings’ Half Wolf. She is an author that I like anyway.

  1. Magic after dark
  2. Half wolf – Aimee Easterling is one of my new favourite authors, and I am happy to read 99.9% of her books and series.
  3. Unquiet souls
  4. Dark hunt
  5. A fistful of evil – this became a very interesting series. Soul sight was more than that it seems, and acknowledging it means that Madison learns to use her lux luminis – which is what she called soul sight, in defence of her territory. This defence meant fighting creatures invisible to norms but ones which feed on their souls and drain their good, sometimes replacing it with evil. These creatures can kill Madison and she has to learn to defend herself in a number of unusual ways that seem puzzling to normals. And she has grate difficulty explaining her new job to her family as she can;’t tell them the truth. I enjoyed the books I have read in this series, but have come to the end of my enjoyment after A Fistful of Frost.
  6. The wolf within –
  7. Vampire midnight – This story I found unusual and followed it up with another in the series. The idea of a heroine who is magically enhanced so that she is the most kick-ass of all was interesting. What was disturbing was that she came by her magic because she has been sold by her parents to warlocks; who repeatedly killed her so she could be brought back to life, and who removed her ability to feel pain – thus beig able to fight on when seriously injured. However, she now teaches abused women how to fight and also rescues abused women from their dire situations. So a good heroine who learnt from her experience that abusing women was not on… It did get rather graphic in places and the detail of some of the fights and the numbers killed were rather too much at times.
  8. Sylphide – an extra story – 1 star, boring.

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When Destiny Calls






Spear of Destiny Book Cover




Spear of Destiny




Misadventures of Loren #1





Jasmine Walt and Ines Johnson





paranormal, romance, urban fantasy




Kindle



Chivalrous? Nah.

Virtuous? Not since…well, none of your business.

The difference between me and the Knights of the Round Table? I make medieval look good.

Loren Van Alst is an independent, twenty-first-century woman, an accused forger, a suspected thief, and the last descendant of Sir Galahad of the Arthurian court. To claim her seat at the Round Table and protect her newly found family of modern-day witches, she’ll need to convince the current Arthur and his knights to let a woman take the knights’ trials. But things go sideways when a crazed wizard goes on the loose with a magical spear that can strip a witch of her powers. As if that weren’t enough, the clique of mean girls from middle school arrives in Camelot and turn out to be witch hunters.

To safeguard a future she never knew she wanted, Loren will have to evade the hunters, defeat the wizard, capture the spear, and pass her trials. No one ever said becoming a kick-ass heroine would be easy!

Urban fantasy goes medieval in this modern day, action-packed, calamitous series of misadventures.

Loren – Nia Rivers’ sidekick has stayed behind in Camelot after they found the Templar Scrolls.
She has her own adventure with her Spear of Destiny and the characters that turn up in the Scrolls book.
And learns what it is to be a Knight of the Round Table – which it turns out she is – hereditarily.
So far so good. I enjoyed this as Loren is a fun character – prone to trouble. But I am worried that her stories will become as formulaic as Nia’s. We shall see.

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