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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars 

This was a really a tale where it hooked me, with little trouble at all, it did all the work to make me interested in it. Jepp’s story, begins at an inn, slowly moving to the court and eventually finding out who he is. 

And what a set of twist it had, the way almost all of it slowly builds Jepp before revealing more about his life. His background and even who he was. This story slowly went with Jepp, who was a really interesting and good character from the very beginning. His fascination with his identity, which get sidelined because of him entering the court. 

Then, he starts to know more about the court. And at the end, his entire background was within the court itself. Which is a really nice thing, to come full circle and come together. 

As for the two girls that takes up Jepp’s life, Lia and Magdalene are very different. Lia wanted to be free, even if it meant she died. But if she died free, it was even better for her. As for Magdalene, she was an interesting character, with the knowledge and talents which I really like. She is someone who I really can like, and see why Jepp liked her. She isn’t afraid to admit when she’s wrong, but stands firm on the ground when it’s needed. 

I didn’t think that this was historical fiction at first, eventually I really liked it when at the end all of this characters had a part in history. All of them, had a place in history. Some had bad endings, some had better endings. But I was completely fine with the liberties taken, Magdalene deserved better and Jepp was a really good choice. Tycho, being one of the most accurate astrologers and having an artificial nose was interesting. 

And most importantly, was dealing with Jepp who barely left a name in history. The way he would end his story, is like what I would say perfect. It doesn’t botch up history, but nonetheless creates a happy ending which I enjoy. And I nonetheless prefer. 

For all that Jepp suffered through, all that Jepp been through. I enjoyed the fact that Jepp having moments of doubt and moments where he is firm. That he is a master of his one destiny, and that he is what drives it. Rather than the other way around. 

And the writing, it had to be the reason why I liked it in the first place. It managed to grip me, all the while maintaining this style. The way that it seemed to have been from a long time ago. The way it was simple to read without me ever wondering where it was heading. That takes a lot. 

So, I loved this book. The way everything was handled. Surprisingly, I really did. And if you like a book which deals with fate astrology, and uses actual history, then you should check this out. It is the perfect fit for you. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Nevernight 

When the writing is filled to the brim with purple prose, a reader like me has no time to try and infer whatever under it. Writers are supposed to make their intentions clear using as little words as possible not drown it with adjectives to the point it feels as though I trying analyze everything. And the whole substance apart from the pretty writing is completely lacking in substance. 

Mia’s intentions are clear, but they are often boggled with such descriptions that it makes it so hard for me to even link to her. So hard for me to even connect with her. Those passages felt unreal, I wasn’t reading through her, I was reading about her. All of it was described by using descriptions that didn’t warrant so much adjectives being thrown, so much vagueness that it was so hard just to know. That it made me lose the entire reason why I wanted to read this in the first place. 

I wasn’t reading a book, I was trying to understand literary jargon. All of it crammed, without anywhere where I could just be mindless. I want to be to easily read this book, not wading through a thick set of purple prose and still having to infer what was under it. This was the reason why I couldn’t be bothered, not every reader has the patience of a saint to be reading through this, and seeing it with a fine comb. 

The characters in general all lost any chance for me to connect with them through the writing. It just wasn’t my style. It was too long to get the meaning across, I like books uses way less words to get the meaning through. Not find ways to go around it, do so long that I probably missed out on a lot of details and I didn’t care. The writing, was a bore and a pain to read through for me. 

I am not one of those, and I would not reread unless I loved that book to death. And here I am telling you, if you want to read this, read it when you have nothing better to do. Not when you have a slushpile to get through. And I simply don’t have that kind of patience to dedicate myself to be reading this piece of literary masterpiece. 

So, check it out if you feel like wanting something written that is thick. That is heavy. And don’t mind sex scenes right in the middle of it. And also, if you have the patience of a saint. To those that managed to finish this without skimming, I salute you. 

Rating: 1 out of 5

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Worlds Of Ink And Shadow 

A book about the Bronte family, in which three of the women became famous writers in a time where no woman is actually encouraged to do it. And I really was curious, as to what their personalities were like. But their entire character feel flat and even dull. 

And that it can be rather messy, sonetimes we are in their heads, in another world or in daily lives. Those aren’t the easiest way to discern what is happening amongst them, and more often than not I was confused. At least until half way where it was explained what Vendropolis was to them. 

And all of a sudden, the fantasy becomes important and is inserted. I would have liked a little more hints, a little more time to develop this. Such as Charlotte actually thinking about what it is. Although I do see why Charlotte is careful not to cross over when it is revealed. 

As for what Emily bargains at the end, I do admit that it is well thought out given the biography of them. That she and Anne died within a year of each other, and young too. 

But the characters are bland and tasteless, they barely have any other personality other than what you could read from their books. There is really no life to them, no real complexity in their characters. The fact that they dream, they write and eventually manage to get critical acclaim. I would have wanted more on their personal lives, there is a degree that the author could have taken liberties with. 

But keeping some traits associated with them would have been understandable. But other than that, nothing is really developed about them. Their relationship, I could say they could have a lot more nuances and a lot of flaws more than just what I see. They barely were characters and I barely even cared about them, least of all think them as actual people who existed in history. 

So, I just didn’t care enough about this book. Although the fantasy aspect was interesting, but the characters could have been developed better, to be more vivid and real. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Ravensong

 

Name: Raven Song

Series: Inoki’s Game (Book 1)

Paperback: 290 pages

Published Date: March 14, 2016

Publisher: Lucid Dreams Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1944674004

ISBN-13: 978-1944674007

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29521339-raven-song

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Song-Dystopian-Fantasy-Inokis/dp/1944674004/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/raven-song-i-a-ashcroft/1123510684

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/raven-song

 

Book Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

 

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

 

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

 

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

 

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

 

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

 

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

 

Author Bio:

​I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author’s first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

 

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

 

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.

Contact the Author:

Website: http://www.ia-ashcroft.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/i.a.ashcroft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ia_ashcroft

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15077746.I_A_Ashcroft

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/I.-A.-Ashcroft/e/B01CTY42S0/

Review: 

I did find this okay. Anna and Jackson are both distinct, with their narration being relatable. But for me, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t cut. It didn’t feel like it to me. I simply could not immerse myself in the story, reading it and relating to them was the best I could do. 

As for the world, the future is rather well thought out. Facing radiation, nuclear exposure. It’s true that we would face the problem eventually, but I could have liked a little more development and exploration of this. And making feel more like that world, I didn’t feel that it was really any different. Even though over a hundred years in the future likely would change everything. 

But I just couldn’t feel with them, I didn’t find myself supporting them. It felt as though nothing was happening. Anna and Jackson have a lot more development, yet their interactions was so few and their relationship went to being very friendly really quick. I just couldn’t buy it, and that is a flaw of the book I feel about. 

The plot was also quite a letdown, there was so many ways this could have gone. Whether Anna is someone that lives forever, or whether Anna is extremely wanted because of her abilities. I could see why, she could prevent radiation. Yet, I just didn’t feel that danger here. There wasn’t any tension really driving me, and I really couldn’t feel the emotion of the characters. It just went over me. 

I would say that this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me since it is a very good book. But it just didn’t connect with me, and I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still recommend you to check it out, and it does have good character development but to me, needs a lot on the plot, the characters interaction. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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The Landlord 

This was a very was mystery, it didn’t feel very dark or grim. And the ghost story to me, was not all that frightening. 

 But nonetheless, I did enjoy it as Allie continued to search about the mystery 200 years ago. All the while the flashbacks 200 years ago are good, revealing much more and giving us the full story. As Allie discovers it, the flashbacks are quite well placed to show what happened. 

Although this mystery is the main one, I would still have preferred if it really tied back to reality. That the entire story had a real reason why someone wanted to uncover it, like a treasure, a reason. More than just a potrait. 

It does seem a little strange there, but the ending is rather nice too. The way it settles everything and ties it up. However, I would say that the main issue is that it really doesn’t feel very clever. It doesn’t feel mysterious or move me to think about the mystery. Or really give me a reason why Allie should be spending all her time. 

As for the ghost story, the only place where it really occurs is where Lizzie is talking to Allie. But I would have wanted more interaction, more clues, and also a deeper motivation to do so in the first place. Lizzie was just there, in the present, and the other characters who were more involved were all missing in the present. 

Since this is a ghost story, I wish there was more liberties taken with the ghosts. The mansion which is over two hundred years old, and possibly the secrets behind it. The various owners could have done a lot. 

As for the affair between Lizzie and Thomas Fitzroy, being one sided and quite horrible. I could see that from the very beginning, and fell a little flat at the end. It wasn’t all that I expected, and I would have preferred a deeper exploration of his obsession with her. Why was he so interested in her, and why no matter what he wanted her. To the point he kept her portrait in the house. 

I also didn’t feel the parallels to this, or how it links to the present timeline. The mystery, to me could have been explored further. Explored and related the current situation. Although it was a nice ghost story with the flashbacks over two hundred years ago, being very well researched and explained. There are still points where I believe it needs work too. But, overall I really enjoyed it. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Death Sworn 

What did I like about it? It doesn’t have a heroine who becomes either too perfect or too stupid by the end of the book. She is somewhere in between, and she is extremely relatable. She is someone that basically lost all that mattered to her, yet I don’t read about her moaning about her loss of power. 

She instead just chooses the best routes, the best choices for herself. She makes the decision herself. And I like the way even after being bullied, she doesn’t give up. She doesn’t make excuses for herself. 

Even though the scope of this book is small, we are restricted to a cave. Nowhere else. A cave. Filled with assassins who are male. I get the feeling that many of you would be thinking that this would be a reverse harem. Nope, none of them are interested in her. 

The one guy that even has some form of feeling for her, still isn’t the usual idiot who would sacrifice all for her. He is guarded, he has his own plans. And his loyalties is to the master first. He doesn’t just magically fall in love with her. 

The way it deals with familiar tropes and the way it keeps many safely out of the way. I would say is the best part of this book. More importantly was the running theme of whether one life saving many would be worth it, such as the assassins who kill to save so much more. To create a better world. 

This are all important parts of the book. And the romance never takes over. It is more about Ileni trying to find the murderer, training. And the ending, was perfection. That was something I never saw coming, and I look forward to the next book dealing with it. That Ileni would be in the Empire, and the way it was written. It fits her so. 

She is someone that doesn’t like killing, it is explicitly shown and she never changes. She treasures life. She is realistic, she doesn’t whine when life is unfair. To me, that is a real heroine that I would admire. 

So overall, pick this book up if you are sick and tired of the usual tropes. The usual storytelling. And expect something that is quick, but isn’t too heavy or dark.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Sentinel 

I could connect with the book on a certain level, but it never went to me really caring about the characters worrying whether they are dead. Also, regarding the chosen one and Nephillim, I would want a more subtle approach to the chosen one. And the way it just felt tacked in, without having Luna deal with everything about it. 

I just couldn’t connect with the characters and couldn’t bring myself to believe them. Despite the whole idea about Nephillim being kept hidden, and even kept away from the human and angel side of things. It just didn’t feel real, it just didn’t feel right. And the way the chosen one was used as it was, without a name change, without really having any real purpose in the story. I just can’t buy it. 

I’m a skeptical person, and I prefer heroes be normal or skilled rather than some prophesized chosen one. Also, I prefer main characters having more of a drive to do things. Luna didn’t have have that development or even a reason why she wanted to do so which I wanted to read about. It just felt as though she accepted it and did nothing. Whether to uncover her memories, which would have been interesting. 

And I greatly prefer that the entire confrontation had been dragged out, Finn telling Luna that she needed to see some memories. And her having moments where she was going to doubt herself and the angels. Otherwise, I just don’t buy it. I don’t even know why Luna decided not to seek answers when it would have been logical, and normal even. Having her memories become a pivotal point would make sense, as she’s beginning to learn about herald and it is very important that she learns. 

I just couldn’t buy the fact that Luna went around and fought, yet she never felt like a character. She’s simply the chosen one, the one who was destined for greatness. Except without the depth that would make her a good one, or the depth of why she would accept it. 

I do think that the book can be improved a lot, given that I could not connect. But the writing style was readable and enjoyable even, clearly edited very well. But I just couldn’t buy the novel as Luna was a very one dimensional character, with little reason to even begin a journey to hell. I think she needs to have more time doubting, more time thinking and more time spent exploring her options and looking through a different perspective. 

Rating: 2 out of 5